SMFM Special Statement: Operative vaginal delivery: checklists for performance and documentation

Barton Staat, C Andrew Combs
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2020, 222 (5): B15-B21
The frequency of operative vaginal delivery has been declining, even though it can be an attractive alternative to cesarean delivery in selected cases. Performance of operative vaginal delivery required consideration of many indications, contraindications, and prerequisites. Optimal documentation of operative vaginal delivery requires the recording of several specific elements that are unique to forceps or vacuum delivery. A cognitive aid such as a checklist is well suited to this situation in which there are numerous elements to consider, a low frequency of performance, and teams with variable expertise. We propose 2 checklists to help ensure that all relevant elements are considered for every operative vaginal delivery: (1) a checklist for preparation and performance of the procedure and (2) a checklist for documentation. We suggest practical tips to help facilities adapt these checklists to their own circumstances and implement them on their units.

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