Impacted fetal head at caesarean section: a national survey of practice and training

Katie Cornthwaite*, Rachna Bahl, Erik Lenguerrand, Cathy Winter, John Kingdom, Tim Draycott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
197 Downloads (Pure)


This is a national survey of UK obstetric trainees and consultant labour ward leads designed to investigate current practice and training for impacted fetal head (IFH) at caesarean section (CS). An anonymous, on-line survey was disseminated to trainees via Postgraduate Schools and RCOG trainee representatives, and to labour ward leads via their national network. 345 obstetric trainees and consultants responded. The results show that IFH is variably defined and encountered by most UK obstetricians (98% had encountered IFH and 76% had experienced it before full cervical dilatation). There is significant variation in management strategies, although most respondents would use a vaginal push up to assist delivery prior to reverse breech extraction. Responses revealed a paucity of training and lack of confidence in disimpaction techniques: over one in ten respondents had not received any training for IFH and less than half had received instruction in reverse breech extraction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2020


  • impacted fetal head
  • caesarean section
  • training


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