An Assisted Obstetric Delivery Device for Resource-Limited Settings

John P Hessburg, Prithvi Murthy, Keval D. Patel, Daniel P. Ostrowski, Kathleen H Sienko


Pregnancy related mortalities account for the death of 350,000 women annually, and 99% of these mortalities occur in developing countries. Obstructed labor is one of the four leading causes of maternal mortality, in part because of inadequate access to assisted delivery technology. Currently used vacuums and forceps do not meet the functionality required by end users due to factors such as training time, dependence on electricity, and risks associated with device misuse. An assisted obstetric delivery device was designed and evaluated for use in low resource settings, following input gained through 15 weeks of interactions with Ghanaian health care workers in the summer of 2011. The prototype consists of a pronged applicator and an extractor sleeve, and requires no additional source of energy to operate. Future work includes improving the securing mechanism of the extractor as well as modifying the shape of the applicator to improve deflection characteristics.


Project-based learning; Clinical immersion; Ethnographic investigations; Assisted delivery; Global health design; Maternal health; Obstructed labor

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