Background: The rate of second stage caesarean section (CS) is rising with associated increases in maternal and neonatal morbidity, which may be related to impaction of the fetal head in the maternal pelvis. In the last 10 years, two devices have been developed to aid disimpaction and reduce these risks: the Fetal Pillow (FP) and the Tydeman Tube (TT). The aim of this study was to determine the distance of upward fetal head elevation achieved on a simulator for second stage CS using these two devices, compared to the established technique of per vaginum digital disimpaction by an assistant. Methods: We measured elevation of the fetal head achieved with the two devices (TT and FP), compared to digital elevation, on a second stage Caesearean simulator (Desperate Debra ™ set at three levels of severity. Elevation was measured by both a single operator experienced with use of the TT and FP and also multiple assistants with no previous experience of using either device. All measurements were blinded Results: The trained user achieved greater elevation of the fetal head at both moderate and high levels of severity with the TT (moderate: 30mm vs 12.5mm p<0.001; most severe: 25mm vs 10mm p<0.001) compared to digital elevation. The FP provided comparable elevation to digital at both settings (moderate: 10 vs 12.5mm p=0.149; severe 10 vs 10mm p=0.44). With untrained users, elevation was also significantly greater with the TT compared to digital elevation (20mm vs 10mm p<0.01). However digital disimpaction was significantly greater than the FP (10mm vs 0mm p<0.0001). Conclusion: On a simulator, with trained operators, the TT provided greater fetal head elevation than digital elevation and the FP. The FP achieved similar elevation to the digital technique, especially when the user was trained in the procedure.
- Caesarean section
- Fetal head impaction
- Fetal pillow
- Full dilation Caesarean section
- Tydeman tube