Saturday, April 20, 2024

Forceps Delivery

Practice Essentials

Forceps are instruments designed to aid in the delivery of the fetus by applying traction to the fetal head. Many different types of forceps have been described and developed. Generally, forceps consist of 2 mirror image metal instruments that are maneuvered to cradle the fetal head and are articulated, after which traction is applied to effect delivery.

Forceps have 4 major components, as follows:

Blades: The blades grasp the fetus. Each blade has a curve to fit around the fetal head. The blades are oval or elliptical and can be fenestrated (with a hole in the middle) or solid. Many blades are also curved in a plane 90° from the cephalic curve to fit the maternal pelvis (pelvic curve).

Shanks: The shanks connect the blades to the handles and provide the length of the device. They are either parallel or crossing.

Lock: The lock is the articulation between the shanks. Many different types have been designed.

Handles: The handles are where the operator holds the device and applies traction to the fetal head.

See the image below.

An illustration of Simpson forceps.

An illustration of Simpson forceps.

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