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Misuse of Vacuum Extraction During Delivery Can Cause Serious Birth Injuries

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Rockford birth injury lawyersAs any soon-to-be parent can tell you, expecting a new baby is exciting as well as nerve-racking. Every parent hopes that pregnancy, labor, and delivery will go smoothly and that their baby will be born happy and healthy. Unfortunately, some babies suffer birth injuries that cause medical complications for weeks, months, or even years after the child’s birth. Some birth injuries result in permanent impairment or, sadly, infant death. One problem that can cause a range of different birth injuries is the misuse of assistive tools like vacuum extractors.

Vacuum-Assisted Delivery Carries Certain Risks

If labor is not progressing typically or there is an urgent need for a baby to be delivered, a doctor may use an assistive device to help guide the child through the birth canal. During vacuum extraction, a suction cup is placed on the infant’s head and used to gently pull the baby out of the mother’s body. This procedure may be life saving for some infants, but vacuum extraction is not without risks. Mothers may face genital tract tears and incontinence while an infant who was delivered by vacuum extraction may suffer from head wounds, skull fracture, or internal bleeding. Vacuum extraction is also associated with a higher risk of shoulder dystocia, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the baby’s shoulder becomes lodged on the mother’s pelvis. A doctor should only use vacuum extraction if it is necessary to protect the health of the mother or the baby.

Birth Injuries that May Be Caused by Vacuum Extraction

There are several types of birth injuries that may be caused by vacuum extraction. Using too much pressure on the baby’s head or incorrectly positioning the device can lead to preventable injuries. Birth injuries that may be the result of improper use of vacuum extraction include:

  • Head lacerations and fractures
  • Retinal hemorrhages
  • Brachial plexus injuries / Erb’s palsy
  • Klumpke’s Palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain hemorrhages
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Doctors and medical facilities may be liable for a child’s birth injury if the medical care provided to the baby did not meet the accepted medical standard of care. Parents of the injured baby may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, future medical care, lost wages from missed work, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Contact a Winnebago County Birth Injury Attorney

If your infant suffered a birth injury because a doctor used vacuum extraction without justification or made mistakes during the vacuum extraction procedure, the doctor may be liable for damages. To learn more, contact a skilled Rockford birth injury lawyer from Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS. Call 815-215-7561 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vacuum-extraction/about/pac-20395232

https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/assisted-vaginal-delivery

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