A computer-based simulation of vacuum extraction during childbirth

Rudy Lapeer, Zelimkhan Gerikhanov, Vilius Audinis

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Vacuum extraction is an instrumental method used in obstetrics when childbirth labour fails to progress. The instrument used during vacuum extraction is the ventouse. It comprises of a suction cup attached to the fetal scalp through a vacuum, and a chord or chain to apply a traction force to expedite the delivery of the baby. It is claimed in the obstetric literature that incorrect placement of the cup, in particular across the anterior fontanelle, may cause serious injury to the fetal scalp. Here we put this theory to the test using a computerised simulation with finite element analysis. The results show substantially larger soft tissue deformations near the anterior fontanelle which may constitute quantitative evidence of qualitative assessments reported in the obstetric literature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2014
EventSIMULIA Regional User Meeting RUM 2014 - Park Royal, Warrington, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Nov 20145 Nov 2014


ConferenceSIMULIA Regional User Meeting RUM 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Computer Simulation

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