Can I file a birth injury lawsuit if my child was injured due to a vacuum extractor birth?

Yes. Vacuum extractors are used frequently to assist in difficult births. When used correctly, a vacuum extractor can be a safe and effective solution when labor isn’t progressing, the mother has a health concern, or the baby is in distress. However, when not used properly, vacuum extractors can be very dangerous to the newborn. The vacuum works by attaching a suction cup-like device to the baby’s skull. Pressure is provided through a tube attached to the suction cup. The pressure provides suction that helps to pull the baby down and out of the birth canal (1). If medical staff misuse these instruments this can lead to a birth injury.

Improper vacuum extractor use can cause birth injuries

A baby’s skull is not completely fused and is very delicate. The suction cup on a vacuum extractor must be placed in the correct spot on the baby’s skull or severe damage may occur. Also, the number of attempts and length of time that a vacuum extractor is used must not exceed the recommended guidelines (1). Moreover, only an experienced and trained doctor should be performing the vacuum extraction. The potential injuries associated with improper use range from mild bruising and swelling to serious brain bleeds or hemorrhages that leave the child with lifelong physical and mental impairments like cerebral palsy, developmental delays, seizures, HIE, and other disabilities.

We’re here to help

If your baby was harmed by vacuum extractor misuse, the attorneys at ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.) can help. Our lawyers have extensive experience with and solely focus on complex birth injury cases.

Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, and partner Rebecca Walsh have consistently been recognized as two of the best medical malpractice lawyers by U.S. News and World Report, which also recognized ABC Law Centers as one of the best medical malpractice law firms. The attorneys at ABC Law Centers have won numerous awards for their advocacy of children with birth injuries, and are participating executive members of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group (BTLG) and the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ).

We have helped children throughout the country obtain compensation for lifelong treatment, therapy, and a secure future, and we give personal attention to each child and family we represent. Our firm has numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success, and no fees are ever paid to our firm ­unless we win your case. 

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Related Resources


  1.  Vacuum Extraction. 15 Sept. 2018,