Cuts and lacerations during normal delivery with instruments

Sometimes, doctors use instruments like forceps or a vacuum to help deliver a baby through a woman’s vagina. This can help to avoid harm to both mother and baby, and it can help to avoid a surgical (Cesarean) delivery. Obstetric trauma in this measure refers to cuts to the mother’s perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus) during a vaginal delivery. This can happen when doctors deliver babies, both with and without instruments to aid in delivery.

Cuts to the perineum during an instrument-assisted vaginal delivery may be preventable. Most of these injuries are minor, but there is potential for serious injury that requires therapy or treatment. We continue to work toward elimination of preventable OB trauma.

About this measure

This measure tracks the number of cuts and injury for every 1000 instrument-assisted vaginal deliveries. Instruments used include forceps and vacuum.

Note: In this case, a lower number is better.  

Most Recent Available Data (Rate per 1000)
  2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 261
National Average 139
Performance Trend (Rate per 1000)
  2011 Q4 2012 Q1 2012 Q2 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2013 Q1 2013 Q2 2013 Q3
Northwestern Memorial 326 283 251 325 246 275 311 261
National Average 146.39 146.39 146.39 146.39 146.39 146.39 146.39 139
Source:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,
OB trauma - vaginal with instrument