Operative Vaginal Birth

Stephen O'brien, Mohammed ElHodaiby, Timothy Draycott

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The rate of operative vaginal births (OVBs) is stable in the UK running at approximately 12% of all deliveries. OVB is in the main a safe practice when performed in the correct setting by an appropriately trained operator, producing good outcomes for the majority of mothers and babies. There should be a balance of risk. Instrumental delivery is safer than a caesarean section at full dilatation for the mother and causes less impact on future pregnancies, as most women will achieve a vaginal birth in a subsequent pregnancy. A caesarean section at full dilatation, however, shows reduced rates of traumatic birth injury to the baby. Despite the fact that in most cases the outcomes are good for forceps and vacuum assisted deliveries, these births still generate a considerable cost in terms of litigation when they are performed sub optimally, or when the baby is born in poor condition. All obstetricians require appropriate training and supervision to ensure these deliveries are performed safely in line with national guidance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedicolegal Issues in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
EditorsSwati Jha, Emma Ferriman
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783319786834
ISBN (Print)9783319786827
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018


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  • Operative Vaginal Birth

    O'brien, S., Denereaz, A. & Draycott, T., 11 Jun 2017, Management and Therapy of Late Pregnancy Complications: Third Trimester and Puerperium. Tinelli, A., Malvasi, M. & Di Renzo, G. (eds.). Springer, Cham, p. 145-166 22 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

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