What is a vacuum extraction (suction) delivery and can it cause birth injuries?

Most vaginal deliveries do not require assistive instruments, but there are cases in which labor alone cannot move the baby through the birth canal in a timely fashion. Physicians can first attempt to reposition the mother during delivery to try to move the baby down the birth canal. If this is ineffective, most physicians use vacuum extractors to avoid a C-section or prolonged fetal distress.  During vacuum extraction, a plastic cup is placed on the baby’s head and attached to a vacuum. This vacuum creates suction that works with the mother’s pushing to move the baby through the birth canal.  Though vacuum extraction is common, there are risks associated with this delivery technique. Complications from vacuum extraction delivery can include scalp swelling and bruising, subgaleal hematoma (bleeding between the skull and scalp), skull fractures, intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding around or in the brain), intraventricular hemorrhage, and neonatal jaundice, all of which can lead to permanent brain damage and lifelong conditions such as cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and seizures.

Vacuum extractor; vents; fetal head injury; smbgaleal hematoma; intracranial hemorrhage; nuchal cord; vacuum extraction; subarachnoid hemorrhage; infant brain damage; neonatal brain injury

Head trauma caused by improper use of vacuum extractors during delivery


Legal Help for Birth Injuries Caused by Vacuum Extractors and Forceps

If your baby had vacuum extractor injuries and now has a birth injury such as cerebral palsy, the attorneys at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers can help.  Our award-winning birth injury lawyers have extensive experience in the investigation and litigation of complex birth injury cases. 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 us ­until we win your case.

 

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