South African Medical Journal

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Failure to perform assisted deliveries is resulting in an increased neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality: An expert opinion

R.C. Pattinson, V Vannevel, D Barnard, S Baloyi, G.S. Gebhardt, K le Roux, N Moran, J Moodley


The need to perform assisted vaginal delivery (AVD) has been regarded as self-evident. In high-income countries, rates of AVD range between 5% and 20% of all births. In South Africa, the rate of AVD is only 1%. This has resulted in increased neonatal morbidity and mortality due to intrapartum asphyxia, and increased maternal morbidity and mortality due to a rise in second-stage caesarean deliveries. In this article, we address the possible causes leading to a decrease in AVD and propose measures to be taken to increase the rates of AVD and subsequently reduce morbidity and mortality.
AJOL African Journals Online