Sexual and reproductive health

New, low-cost instrument for assisted vaginal delivery

New instrument for assisted vaginal delivery

A new low-cost device (Odon Device) for delivery of the fetus during prolonged second stage labour won a “Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development” Award for its ''potential to save the lives of mothers and newborns at the time of birth". This innovative device may be safer and easier to apply than forceps/vacuum extractor for assisted deliveries, and a safe alternative to some caesarean sections in settings with limited access to surgical capacity and human resource constraints.

Complications due to prolonged second stage of labour include potentially fatal maternal (hemorrhage, infection) and newborn complications (birth asphyxia and trauma).

Odon Device

HRP is currently conducting research to evaluate the safety and feasibility of the Odon device in assisting vaginal delivery in singleton term pregnancies during the second stage of labour. In terms of safety, the study aims to assess potential maternal and fetal trauma and signs of fetal/newborn distress. Feasibility will be assessed by observing successful expulsion of the fetal head. The Odon device may be potentially safer and easier to apply than forceps/vacuum extractor for assisted deliveries, and a safe alternative to some caesarean sections. It has potential for wide application in resource-poor settings by making possible effective management of intrapartum complications in facilities lacking surgical capacity and/or personnel adequately trained and authorized to use of forceps and the vacuum extractor.

The device was invented by Mr Jorge Odón from Argentina.