A vacuum extractor is an instrument to assist the delivery of babies. A hand-held pump produces low vacuum which is applied to a suction cup attached to the exposed fetal head. Traction is applied to the fetal head to assist each contraction. The current trend for instrument assisted delivery is toward less and less use of forceps. Many more practioners feel that Caesarean sections should be performed in place of high and mid forceps and vacuum extractor should be used instead of low forceps. The slightly elevated scalp from the use of the vacuum is called caput succedaneum; it will resolve in 48 hours.
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