Cohort study of silastic obstetric vacuum cup deliveries: II. unsuccessful vacuum extraction

Michael D. Berkus, Rajam S. Ramamurthy, Patrick S. O'connor, Karen J. Brown, Robert H. Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In a cohort analysis of Silastic vacuum extractor deliveries, 65% were completed with the vacuum extractor alone, 24% with outlet forceps, 3% with midforceps, and 7% with cesarean section (vacuum extractor-cesarean). Control groups were formed by using the next sequential forceps delivery, spontaneous vaginal delivery, and every second cesarean section after a trial of labor. The infants were examined using a neurobehavioral scale, an encephalopathy assessment, cranial ultrasound, and indirect ophthalmoscopy. In the combined vacuum extractor and forceps delivery subgroup (vacuum extractor-forceps), all but 3% were converted from a high mid-forceps delivery to outlet forceps by the initial vacuum extractor procedure, thus eliminating many difficult midforceps deliveries. The study yielded no significant difference in maternal morbidity between vacuum extractor-forceps and forceps delivery, no difference in vaginal trauma for vacuum extractor-cesarean versus vacuum extractor delivery, and no greater hospital stay, infection rate, or need for transfusion for either vacuum extractor-forceps versus forceps delivery or vacuum extractor-cesarean versus cesarean delivery. Neonatal morbidity did not differ between successful and unsuccessful trial of vacuum extractor, except for an increased frequency of retinal hemorrhage. The frequency of scalp trauma, including cephalohematoma, did not differ between vacuum extractor-forceps and forceps delivery, or between vacuum extractor-cesarean and vacuum extractor delivery. For vacuum extractor-forceps versus forceps delivery and vacuum extractor-cesarean versus cesarean section, there were no significant differences in neurobehavioral or encephalopathy scores, or in the frequency of neonatal jaundice, facial palsy, anemia, fractures, or mortality. Clinical or ultrasound evidence of intracranial hemorrhage was not found in any subject. These findings suggest that a trial of Silastic vacuum extractor delivery adds no significant morbidity to mother or infant and may avoid a difficult midforceps delivery or cesarean section.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-666
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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