Aldo Vacca remembered
In the world of vacuum extraction, three names are pre-eminent: Malstrom, Bird and Vacca. I had the privilege of meeting and working with Dr Aldo Vacca in 1978, at St Mary’s Hospital Portsmouth, England, and participated in his seminal trial comparing the ventouse to forceps.
His constant accompaniments were his Pentax camera and the little paper diamonds that designated the anterior and posterior fontanelles attached to the heads of babies born by ventouse extraction. As a result of Aldo’s tutelage, I became a devotee of this method of delivery and successfully introduced it to my public hospital in Western Sydney, where it remains the mainstay of assisted delivery to this day.
Our close friendship continued following our return to Australia and for many years I looked forward to his annual trainee workshops at our hospital. Aldo’s abiding passion was the safe and effective means of fetal delivery with minimal maternal trauma. To Aldo the message was of paramount importance and, to avoid any conflict of interest, he forsook any monetary recompense for the design of his Omni Cup, such were the ethics of the man.
I add my voice to the growing chorus of supporters asking the College to honour his contribution in a more substantial way as this ‘prophet’ has not been recognised sufficiently in his own land.