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The prophylactic forceps operation

      Abstract

      The time is not yet right for a general recommendation of the procedure to be described in this paper. As obstetric specialists, we must lead the way in improvements of our art, for this is still capable of improvement. The public is demanding with a voice that becomes louder and more insistent each year,relief from the dangers of childbirth for the childbearing woman. As regards the pain, the rapid spread of the twilight sleep craze will show the demand for “tokophobia” is spreading among women. If we study our cases carefully the conclusion is inevitable that while we have decidedly improved the maternal mortality and morbidity and have reduced the foetal deaths somewhat, labor is still painful and terrifying experience, still retains much morbidity that leaves permanent invalidism. The latter statement is also applicable to the child. Many efforts are being made to ease the travail of the woman and to better the lot of the infant. What follows is another such effort. Experience alone can decide whether it accomplishes its purpose. The “prophylactic forceps operation” is the routine delivery of the child in head presentation when the head has come to rest on the pelvic floor, and the early removal of the placenta. Primiparous labors and those in which the condition of the soft parts approximates a first labor, are treated by this method, which really compromises more than the actual delivery of the child. It is a rounded technic for the conduct of the whole labor, with the defined purpose of relieving pain, supplementing and anticipating the efforts of Nature, reducing the hemorrhage, and preventing and repairing damage.
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