Operative vaginal delivery: a review of four national guidelines

Ioannis TsakiridisORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4337-7871, Sonia Giouleka
  • Third Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
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, Apostolos Mamopoulos
  • Third Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
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, Apostolos Athanasiadis
  • Third Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
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, Angelos Daniilidis
  • Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
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and Themistoklis Dagklis
  • Third Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
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Abstract

There is a broad range in the rates of operative vaginal deliveries (OVD) worldwide, which reflects the variety of local practice patterns, the number of trained clinicians and the lack of international evidence-based guidelines. The aim of this study was to review and compare the recommendations from published guidelines on OVD. Thus, a descriptive review of guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on instrumental vaginal birth was conducted. All the guidelines point out that the use of any instrument should be based on the clinical circumstances and the experience of the operator. The indications, the contraindications, the prerequisites and the classification for OVD are overall very similar in the reviewed guidelines. Further, they all agree that episiotomy should not be performed routinely. The RCOG, the RANZCOG and the SOGC describe some interventions which may promote spontaneous vaginal birth and therefore reduce the need for OVD. They also highlight the importance of adequate postnatal care and counseling. There is no consensus on the actual technique that should be used, including the type of forceps or vacuum cup, the force and duration of traction or the number of detachments allowed. Hence, there is need for international practice protocols, so as to encourage the clinicians to use OVD when indicated, minimize the complications and reduce rates of cesarean delivery.

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