Suction Bells - Or Forceps Delivery

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Suction Bells - Or Forceps Delivery
Suction Bells - Or Forceps Delivery
Video: Suction Bells - Or Forceps Delivery
Video: Dr. Bell Talks About Forcep & Vacuum Assisted Deliveries 2023, February
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Suction bell and forceps delivery

Sometimes children need help on their way through the birth canal. If the birth does not progress and the child's head is already deep in the pelvis, doctors can use a suction cup or forceps to help the child into the world. The birth can thus be accelerated and possible complications can be avoided.

Although there is no actual operation, the suction bell and forceps delivery are counted among the vaginal-operative delivery procedures.

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  • When is a suction cup or forceps delivery performed?
  • How is a suction bell delivery performed?
  • How is a forceps delivery performed?
  • What preparatory measures are necessary?
  • What complications can arise?

When is a suction cup or forceps delivery performed?

The suction cup and the forceps are used when complications arise during the expulsion phase of the birth. Possible reasons can be:

  • the birth comes to a standstill in the expulsion phase (e.g. due to weak contractions),
  • the child's heart rate indicates an incipient lack of oxygen ("the heart rate decreases"),
  • the woman giving birth is too exhausted to actively press,
  • For health reasons (e.g. heart defect, aneurysm) the woman giving birth is not allowed to actively press.

In order for a suction bell or forceps delivery to be performed, the cervix must be fully open and the amniotic sac must be burst. The child must lie in the position of the skull and the child's head must have already entered the mother's pelvis deeply. If this is not the case and the child is still relatively high, a secondary caesarean section (if the situation appears threatening, an acute caesarean section) must be performed.

Both the suction cup and the forceps delivery may only be performed by a doctor.

How is a suction bell delivery performed?

During the suction bell birth or vacuum extraction, a small, specially shaped suction bell shell is placed on the child's head. The shell can be made of metal or silicone. This is connected to a vacuum pump via a hose, so that the bell attaches to the child's scalp. While the mother is in labor, the doctor can pull slowly until the child's head has come out. Then the suction cup is slowly removed and the rest of the child's body can be born normally.

Note After the birth, the child's head may be elongated or deformed by the suction cup. However, this deformation disappears again within a short time and has no negative consequences for the child.

How is a forceps delivery performed?

The forceps used in obstetrics consists of two spoon-shaped halves that are individually inserted into the vagina and carefully placed around the child's head. The doctor feels whether no maternal soft tissues - such as the cervix or vagina - are trapped. With each squeeze, the doctor then carefully pulls the child out of the birth canal. When the child's head is born, the forceps are removed and the rest of the child can be born normally.

What preparatory measures are necessary?

Before the doctor performs an operation with the suction cup or the forceps, she / he explains the operation to the woman giving birth, if there is enough time. This is followed by a vaginal examination to precisely assess the position of the child's head.

A disposable catheter is usually used to empty the urinary bladder. In addition, the pregnant woman receives appropriate pain relief in advance.

In some cases, a perineal incision is made before the procedure to give the child enough space and avoid major soft tissue injuries.

The doctor decides on a case-by-case basis whether the suction cup or the forceps are used. In practice the forceps are used less often.

What complications can arise?

With a suction cup and forceps delivery, there is an increased risk that the child will suffer a birth injury compared to a normal delivery. The tensile and compressive stress on the child's head can lead to abrasions and lacerations on the scalp as well as bruises. Cerebral haemorrhage - mostly harmless - is also possible. There is also the risk of nerve injuries in the face (injury to the facial nerve) or the arms (injury to the brachial plexus).

In the case of the mother, the use of a suction cup or obstetric forceps can lead to soft tissue injuries (e.g. perineal tear or injuries to the vagina).

The benefit and risk must always be carefully weighed and individually assessed before using a suction cup or obstetric forceps.

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