WCH Research Unit Closed Projects

We are proud of the research that has been undertaken at the Women & Children's Health Research Unit, these past projects can be found here. If you would like to know more about our individual past projects please visit the specific research study pages below:


Around one in eight women in the UK require assistance to give birth to their baby vaginally. Currently, doctors use either forceps or a ventouse (a suction cup) to help women have their babies in this manner. This is known as an assisted vaginal birth (AVB). Most mothers and babies do very well after an AVB, and the procedure is usually much better for both mothers and babies than the alternative, an emergency Caesarean section.ASSIST logo
However, women and their babies can sometimes be harmed by an AVB. Mothers have a greater tendency to have severe tears of the vagina, and, sometimes, the rectum (back passage) compared to a spontaneous vaginal birth. Mothers may have more pain while healing (usually for one to two weeks) following a birth that has been assisted by forceps or ventouse. Babies may develop bruising over the scalp or face where the forceps or ventouse have been applied. Babies can also, very rarely (around 1 in 1000), sustain more serious harm, such as nerve injuries or bleeding into the brain or eye. Therefore, although AVB is generally very safe and usually better than the alternative (an emergency caesarean section), it is sensible to try to improve the technique to assist a vaginal birth and reduce the risks to both mothers and their babies. Unfortunately, no new types of devices to assist vaginal birth have been introduced into practice since the ventouse in the 1950s.
The BD Odon Device is a new device for AVB that has been designed by a team of midwives, doctors and engineers. The BD Odon Device works by placing a cuff of air which is attached to a sleeve, around the baby’s head. The doctor then gently pulls on this sleeve and air cuff to assist the birth of the baby.
In this study, we would like to use the BD Odon Device to help women give birth in cases where it is necessary to assist the birth of the baby. Our study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the BD Odon device and seek the views of women and healthcare professionals on its use. The information gained from the study will be used to plan a large comparative study


The imox study is a multi centre, double blinded, randomised controlled trial which is comparing the three medicines used for the “active management of the third stage of labour.”
The third stage of labour is the period of time between the birth of the baby and the delivery of the placenta. There are 2 ways of managing the third stage of labour, and this study applies to women who are choosing to have an active management of the third stage of labour, following a vaginal birth.  Active management involves a one-off injection of a medicine which is designed to help keep the womb contracted thus reducing the risk of a post partum haemorrhage.
The purpose of the study is to find out which of the 3 medicines, that are currently in use, is the most effective and which allows women to feel as well as possible in the first few hours after their birth.
The study was completed in July 2018. The results are in the process of publication.