Most people are familiar with vaginal and Cesarean births, but sometimes things to wrong during labor. There are two main tools at hand, forceps and vacuum extraction. A report in ContemporaryObgyn.net talks about the risks and the lack of training in the medical community with vacuum extraction.
Vacuum extraction procedures have been undergoing a steady decline since 1995 when it was done for about 5.9% of all births. There are fewer residents who have undergone training in the procedure during their residency, though they may still have experience with using these devices.
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One of the reasons the device was invented was that delivering a baby with forceps has a high risk of injuring the child. Nevertheless, there are risks associated with vacuum extraction. A big but rare complication is neonatal encephalopathy. A much more common one is intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeding). Vacuum extraction increases the risk of traumatic hemorrhages ten-fold and doubles the risk of non-traumatic ones.
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While a follow-up study in Sweden says that children delivered by vacuum extraction have cognitive outcomes similar to those delivered by unplanned Cesarean births, it’s little comfort. The report recommends that hospitals develop simulation training exercises to train doctors on how to do the procedure for those rare instances when using vacuum extraction is necessary.