Birth Injuries Caused by Vacuum Extraction

Vacuum extraction during delivery may be medically necessary; however, the risks for birth injury are high.

vaccum extraction

Vacuum extraction is a technique that aids vaginal delivery with the use of a medical instrument. This method is used when a delivery is unsuccessful despite the application of suitable measures during the second stage of labor. It is also utilized when fetal distress is noted during the delivery stage.

When Vacuum Extraction is Necessary

Vacuum extraction becomes necessary when it is important to deliver the baby immediately to prevent fetal hypoxia. Vacuum extraction is mostly necessary in conditions such as prolonged labor, cord entanglement, placenta abruption, and oligohydramnios. Doctors will look for the following conditions to determine the need to utilize vacuum extraction:

  • The head of the baby is deeply engaged or it is at zero station.
  • The cervix of the mother has become fully dilated.
  • The station and position of the head of the baby has been ascertained.
  • Suitable maternal analgesia is noted.
  • Neonatal resuscitation equipment are available.
  • The bladder of the mother is unfilled.

The Risks of Vacuum Extraction

The medical device utilized in vacuum extraction features a suction cup that is positioned on the head of the infant. It provides suction power that draws the head of the baby out through the vaginal canal. The suction cup is taken off after the head of the baby emerges and the mother continues with the delivery on her own. There may be times when birth injuries are caused by the pressure from the suction cup. Some common problems associated with deliveries assisted by vacuum extraction include:

  • hematoma and bruising
  • cephalohematoma
  • subgaleal hemorrhage
  • skull fracture
  • large caput succedaneum
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • metabolic acidosis
  • shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • fetal/neonatal death
  • brachial plexus paralysis
  • retinal hemorrhage
  • shoulder dystocia
  • subconjunctival hemorrhage

Birth Injury Caused by Medical Negligence

The seriousness of vacuum extraction birth injuries makes it necessary for medical practitioners to take all risks into consideration. It is imperative to determine if the procedure is strictly necessary in order to ensure the safe delivery of the baby. It is also important to take into account that a number of birth injuries may occur even without the use of medical devices. For these reasons, it is essential that only a skilled and properly-trained medical professional performs vacuum extractions to prevent injuries during a delivery. If your child was injured because of a doctor’s failure to use vacuum extraction properly, consult a Missouri birth injury lawyer to understand your legal rights.

Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, LLC

(314) 588-7200

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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