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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2003 Apr 25;107(2):151-5.

What to do after a failed attempt of vacuum delivery?

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.



To determine whether there is a difference in maternal and neonatal outcomes if a sequential operative vaginal or cesarean delivery follows failed vacuum delivery.


A cross sectional study. We have analyzed maternal and neonatal outcomes of 215 vacuum extractions (group 1), 106 forceps assisted deliveries (group 2), 28 deliveries in which failed vacuum extraction were followed by forceps delivery (group 3) and 22 deliveries in which failed vacuum extraction were followed by cesarean delivery (group 4).


Compared to other groups, patients in group 4 had significantly more post partum anemia, meconium stained amniotic fluid and hospital stay (both maternal and neonatal) as well as lower pH. Apgar scores were similar in groups 3 and 4. Incidence of respiratory distress syndrome, cephalhematoma and jaundice were similar in neonates of all groups.


If an attempted vacuum delivery has failed, the risk of adverse neonatal outcome is increased with either subsequent forceps or cesarean delivery. It should remain in the judgment of the attending obstetrician to choose the method most suitable under the given circumstances.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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