Research Article

Should we abandon Kielland's forceps?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 30 July 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:315
  1. L D Cardozo,
  2. D M Gibb,
  3. J W Studd,
  4. D J Cooper


    To assess the risks associated with the use of Kielland's forceps 2708 consecutive deliveries were studied prospectively and the neonatal outcome related to the mode of delivery. Of the 1191 primigravidas, 279 (23.4%) underwent instrumental delivery, of whom 65 (5.5%) were delivered with Kielland's forceps. There was no difference in early neonatal outcome (as judged by Apgar scores, intubations, and admission to the special care baby unit) between these babies and those delivered normally or by non-rotational forceps, but a higher proportion of the 127 (10.7%) delivered by emergency caesarean section were compromised. Of the 1517 multigravid patients, only 57 (3.8%) underwent instrumental delivery, 15 (1.0%) by Kielland's forceps. Among these babies, also, the outcome was no worse than for those delivered normally, but the babies delivered by caesarean section showed a greatly increased incidence of low Apgar scores, intubations, and admission to the special care baby unit. There were no stillbirths or neonatal deaths among babies delivered by Kielland's forceps, nor were there any cases of severe birth trauma or of obvious neonatal morbidity.