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Neurodevelopmental Risks Low with Operative Deliveries

Low rates of neurodevelopmental complications reported in children born by Caesarean or instrument delivery

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Infants born after an instrument-assisted vaginal delivery or Caesarean-section during the second stage of labor have similar rates of neurodevelopmental complications at age 5, which are low overall, according to a report in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Rachna Bahl, of Bristol University in Bristol, U.K., and colleagues conducted a study of 264 infants of women who had an instrument-assisted or operative delivery at full dilation, including 66 children who had an Apgar score of less than 7. The investigators compared the rates of neurodevelopmental complications in infants delivered by vaginal instrumentation, immediate Caesarean section, or Caesarean section after failed attempt at instrument-assisted delivery.

At 5 years of age, there were low rates of neurodevelopmental morbidity by self-report and review of medical records. In addition, there were no significant differences between children delivered by instrument-assisted vaginal delivery, immediate Caesarean or Caesarean after failed instrumentation.

This favorable long-term safety profile of operative delivery "should provide reassurance to parents who are faced with complex instrument delivery or Caesarean delivery in the second stage of labor," the authors conclude.

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