This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
The objective of this review is to answer the overall question: 'When assisted vaginal birth is needed, which instrument would be best?'. Individual vacuum devices or forceps used for assisted vaginal delivery will be reviewed in terms of maternal outcome, neonatal outcome and training requirements. The main questions concerning choice of instrument will therefore fall into three categories, namely:
should forceps or ventouse be used;
if it were forceps, which type would be best;
if it were ventouse, which type would be best?