Vacuum Extraction in Preterm Deliveries and Long-Term Neurological Outcome of the Offspring Academic Article uri icon


  • Background Concern exists regarding a possible harmful impact of vacuum extraction on the preterm newborn. We aimed to evaluate the long-term pediatric neurodevelopmental outcomes of the preterm offspring after vacuum extraction. Methods A population-based cohort analysis was performed comparing the risk for long-term neurological morbidity (up to age 18 years) in preterm (less than 37 completed weeks of gestation) children born via following three delivery modes: vacuum extraction, spontaneous delivery, and Caesarean delivery performed during the second stage of labor. A Kaplan-Meier survival curve was used to compare the cumulative neurological morbidity in all groups. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to control for confounders. Results During the study period 11,662 preterm newborns met the inclusion criteria, 97.2% (n = 11,338) of which were born via spontaneous vaginal delivery, 2.3% (n = 267) underwent vacuum extraction, and 0.5% (n = 57) were delivered by Caesarean section during the second stage of labor. Gestational age at delivery median (range) was 36 (29 to 36) weeks for vacuum extractions, 36 (23 to 36) for spontaneous vaginal delivery, and 35 (29 to 36) for Caesarean delivery within second stage of labor. Total pediatric hospitalizations involving neurological diagnoses were comparable between the groups as were the cumulative incidences of total neurological morbidity in the survival curves (log rank P = 0.723). In the Cox regression model, vacuum delivery in preterm newborns was not found to be associated with later pediatric neurological hospitalizations. Conclusions Vacuum extraction performed on preterm newborns does not appear to be independently associated with severe long-term neurological morbidity, as reflected by later pediatric hospitalizations.

publication date

  • May 1, 2019