A Computer-Based Simulation of Obstetric Forceps Placement

  • Rudy Lapeer
  • Vilius Audinis
  • Zelimkhan Gerikhanov
  • Olivier Dupuis
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8674)


Obstetric forceps are commonly used when the expulsion of the baby during childbirth fails to progress. When the two forceps blades are applied correctly, i.e. symmetrically, the inner surface of each blade maximises the area in contact with the fetal head. On the contrary, when the blades are applied asymmetrically, the contact areas between the inner surface of the blades and the fetal head are minimal and at distinct locations at the left and right sides of the fetal head. It is therefore assumed in the field of obstetrics that asymmetric application is bound to cause intra-cranial damage due to significantly higher shear forces and significant deformation of the fetal cranial bones as compared to symmetric application. In this paper we present the first of a series of studies to analyse the mechanical contact between head and forceps under different conditions using finite element analysis. We used high fidelity mesh models of a fetal skull and obstetric forceps. The fetal cranial material properties are known from previous studies. We observed significantly higher deformations and stresses for the asymmetric application of the blades as compared to symmetric placement.


Compression Force Traction Force Cranial Bone Fetal Head Skull Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudy Lapeer
    • 1
  • Vilius Audinis
    • 1
  • Zelimkhan Gerikhanov
    • 1
  • Olivier Dupuis
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computing SciencesUniversity of East AngliaUK
  2. 2.Maternité CHU Lyon SudUniversité de LyonFrance

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