The main problem with vacuum extraction methods, alongside the cephalhaematoma produced, is the premature separation of the suction cup under traction, since the resulting sudden change in pressure can lead to severe intra-cerebral damage to the child. To reduce the risk of vaginal operative delivery, a new double-chamber safety vacuum extractor has been developed by Hepp/King. The basic feature of this instrument is an additional chamber with a thin overlapping area, which surrounds the actual suction cup and serves as a safety vacuum. If the suction cup starts to slip, the external vacuum is released and sounds an alarm. In addition, the inner vacuum has been designed to be convex and to reduce the volume of scalp, which is sucked into the vacuum, thus reducing the size of the cephalhaematoma produced. First experiences in clinical use demonstrated the reliability of the early warning signal, if the direction of traction is false or the applied traction is too strong. The inner vacuum remains constant at 0.8 atu, so that with care, the extraction can continue without interruption. We have used the new instrument in 18 deliveries. In 15 cases, the indication was failure to progress into the second stage of labour; in one case history of retinal detachment and in two cases signs of foetal asphyxia. In all cases, the child was delivered following one or two contractions with traction, without losing the vacuum. The average weight of the newbom was 3566 g. As expected, the cephalohaematoma produced was very much smaller than usual. Further clinical trials are necessary before the value of this new instrument can be assessed.
Times Cited: 1 1