Wednesday, 29 October 2008 10:01
The neonatal mortality rate attributable to use of the forceps was 34.9 per 1000. The incidences of delayed onset of respiration (17.4%), birth trauma (15.1%), and abnormal neurological behaviour--namely, apathy or irritability or both--(23.3%) significantly exceeded those in a matched group of babies born spontaneously. Fetal asphyxia played a major part in the aetiology of neonatal complications.
Babies on whom Kielland's forceps were used, however, had a significantly greater incidence of abnormal neurological behaviour even in the absence of fetal asphyxia (14.3%), and in all of these babies the abnormal behaviour was transient and did not necessitate admission to the special-care baby unit.
Kielland's forceps: association with neonatal morbidity and mortality Chiswick ML, James DK.
Br Med J 1979 Jan 6;1(6155):7-9
The results suggest the neonatal complications are caused by the forceps and not related to the process of birth itself.