n Obstetrics and Gynaecology Forum - A survey of health professionals on the current use of forceps / ventouse and skills training for operative vaginal delivery : review

Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1027-9148



There is a progressive shift away from the use of operative vaginal deliveries in favour of caesarean delivery in obstetrics. The current study aimed to assess on the use of forceps / ventouse and skills training for operative vaginal delivery by health care professionals. The questionnaires were distributed to health care workers employed in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Provincial Hospitals to evaluate the possible reasons for the low operative vaginal delivery rates rates. Of the 250 questionnaires distributed to health care workers of varying experience, 197 (85.6%) were complete and eligible for analysis. One hundred and nineteen (60%) of the respondents indicated that was a role for operative vaginal deliveries. Seventy-eight (40%) had reservations, including lack of confidence = 37(47%), fear of litigation = 13(16%), and fear of complications = 28(35%). 17 (9%) of the 197 medical doctors performed operative vaginal delivery after training, 189 (96%) preferred vacuum to forceps. Thirty-one (16%) of the respondents indicated that they taught the procedure to their colleagues. One hundred and sixty-six (84%) had learned operative vaginal delivery from essential steps in the management of obstetrics emergencies (ESMOE) training modules. Although the overall rate of operative vaginal delivery has been declining in our setting, with appropriate training and careful patient selection, operative vaginal delivery can be a valuable tool in the armamentarium of obstetrics.

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