When are vacuum extractors used?

A. Due to the risks associated with vacuum extraction delivery, it should only be attempted when certain obstetric conditions are met.  The major indications for vacuum extraction include prolonged second stage of labor, non-reassuring fetal status, maternal exhaustion, and the presence of maternal illness that would mean that  “bearing down” or pushing efforts would be risky  (such as maternal cardiac or neurological disease is present).


When Shouldn’t Vacuum Extractors be Used?

There are several instances in which a vacuum extraction delivery should never be performed.  Vacuum extractors should never be used when:

  • The baby is less than 34 weeks gestation.  There is a risk of fetal intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) at these ages.
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is present.  This is when the mother’s pelvis is too small for the size or position of the baby, thereby making it impossible for the baby to navigate the birth canal.
  • Baby’s head is not low and in the correct position.
  • Prior scalp sampling or multiple attempts at fetal scalp electrode placement are contraindications because these procedures may increase the risk of cephalohematoma (bleeding under the skin of the head) or external bleeding from the scalp wound.
  • Fetal demineralization disease, connective tissue disorders and fetal bleeding diatheses are present.

Women who are obese before pregnancy and women who were not obese prior to pregnancy, but who gained more than 35 pounds during pregnancy, are at a higher risk of having a vacuum extraction delivery than non-obese women.

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

Improper use of vacuum extractors can cause permanent neonatal brain damage


Trusted Vacuum Extractor Attorneys Serving the U.S. Nationwide

vacuum extractor injury attorneys - J. ReiterAward-winning birth injury lawyer Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, has been focusing solely on birth injury cases for over 28 years, and most of his cases involve hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and cerebral palsy. Michigan birth injury lawyers Jesse Reiter and Rebecca Walsh are currently recognized as two of the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, which also recognized ABC Law Centers as one of the best medical malpractice law firms in the nation. The attorneys at ABC Law Centers have won numerous awards for their advocacy of children and are members of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group (BTLG) and the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ).  In fact, Jesse Reiter is one of only 2 attorneys in Michigan to ever be elected Chair of the BTLG.

If your baby had vacuum extractor injuries and now has a birth injury such as cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), the vacuum extractor injury attorneys at ABC Law Centers can help. 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 nationally recognized Michigan birth injury law firm has numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success and no fees are ever paid to our firm ­until we win your case. Email or call Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers at 888-419-2229 for a free case evaluation. Our firm’s award-winning birth injury attorneys are available 24 / 7 to speak with you.

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