Can this electronic gauge help ward off liability hassles?

The Vacuum Birth Safeguard, a gauge that attaches to standard vacuum delivery devices, may help ob/gyns better defend themselves in a lawsuit, according to investigators from Nova Scotia. A pilot study presented at ACOG shows that the electronic device permanently and accurately records details of delivery on tracings from standard maternal/fetal monitors.

Investigators from Dalhousie University used the Vacuum Birth Safeguard (Medevco Inc., Dallas, Tex.) in conjunction with the Kiwi OmniCup vacuum device during 20 vacuum-assisted deliveries. Mean duration of cup application was 4.5 minutes, mean cup vacuum was 55 cm Hg, mean number of pulls was 2, and number of "pop-offs" was 7. In 14 deliveries the vacuum cup was positioned at flexing median; in the remaining deliveries, it was at flexing paramedian. The Vacuum Birth Safeguard, the study's authors say, recorded all of this information accurately and in real time on the uterine activity channel of a standard maternal/fetal monitor.

Baskett TF, Harrington B, Fannin CA, et al. Pilot study of a new electronic vacuum monitoring device for use during vacuum-assisted delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2004;103 (4 suppl):74S.

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