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Intrapartum ultrasound in second stage of labour

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Intrapartum ultrasound in second stage of labour: determining prognostic factors for type of birth



  • Contact name

    Christoph Lees

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Imperial College London, Joint Research Compliance Office

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    The aim of this study is to determine whether we can predict an assisted vaginal delivery (suction cup/forceps) or a caesarean section at full cervical dilatation with ultrasound. These operative types of delivery affect approximately 1 in 3 women who are having their first baby. Complications can arise for both the mother and baby during operative deliveries. Ultrasound might help to improve the safety of birth by increasing the accuracy of determining the baby’s head and spine position in the maternal pelvis. The current method of determining fetal head position and descent is done by abdominal palpation and internal digital vaginal examination. These traditional methods have limitations in being subjective, can be painful for the woman, and prone to error particularly in the second stage of labour with increasing swelling of the fetal scalp.

    We will perform an ultrasound scan at the time when the clinical practitioner looking after the women’s care confirms the cervix is fully dilated (10 cm). Two forms of ultrasound will be performed: transabdominal (on the maternal abdomen) and transperineal (on the outside of the vagina). Ultrasound will be used to assess the baby’s head position and the baby’s head descent through the birth canal before the onset of pushing. The study will aim to establish a prediction model for operative delivery. The prediction in outcome could be useful to alert clinical practitioners on the estimated length of labour, planning for potentially difficult assisted deliveries, as well as counselling the woman about birth expectations.

  • REC name

    East Midlands - Nottingham 1 Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    14 Oct 2022

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion

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