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December 19, 1953


JAMA. 1953;153(16):1450. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940330034014

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Jeffcoate,1 in reviewing the place of forceps in modern obstetrics, calls attention to the fact that early objections to the use of forceps based at first on prejudice or vested interest were quickly justified by the abuse of this method of extraction. Although the use of forceps has regained great popularity, this can be maintained only by the most judicious application of the principles of good obstetrics. Maternal and fetal mortality have been reduced by a combination of advances in medicine (chemotherapy, etc.) and advances in obstetric technique. In hospital deliveries the use of forceps has almost trebled in 25 years. This increase has been at the expense of spontaneous labor rather than of cesarean section and has been an important factor in the reduction of mortality referred to. As Jeffcoate so aptly puts it, "babies previously born dead with forceps are now being delivered alive by cesarean section,

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