Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2010 - Volume 115 - Issue 3 > Operative Vaginal Delivery

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Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181cfbefd
Clinical Expert Series

Operative Vaginal Delivery

Yeomans, Edward R. MD

Continued Medical Education
Expert Discussion
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Abstract

Operative vaginal delivery remains a valid option when problems arise in the second stage of labor. The most common indications are fetal compromise and failure to deliver spontaneously with maximum maternal effort. There is a clear trend to choose vacuum extraction over forceps to assist delivery, but the evidence supporting that trend is unconvincing. Recent literature confirms some advantages for forceps (eg, a lower failure rate) and some disadvantages for vacuum extraction (eg, increased neonatal injury), depending on the clinical circumstances. To preserve the option of forceps delivery, residency training programs must incorporate detailed instruction in forceps techniques and related skills into their curricula. Simulation training can enhance residents' understanding of mechanical principles and should logically precede clinical work.

© 2010 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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