What is a vacuum extraction?

With you’re about to give birth, you want to feel sure that, as a parent, you’ve done everything you can to deliver a healthy baby. However, sometimes deliveries don’t go as planned, and the doctor needs to use special equipment to help deliver your child. This is called an “assisted” delivery. Sometimes the doctor will use forceps—an instrument that looks like a long pair of tongs; or, he may use a vacuum extractor to apply gentle suction to the top of the baby’s head to help pull or “vacuum” the baby out of the vaginal canal.

Approximately 10 percent of births need help with special equipment, and while vacuum extractions have grown in popularity, there are dangers involved with this assisted delivery. It’s important to know how this assisted delivery happens and the dangers it could present to your child.

When Doctors Use a Vacuum Extraction

There are situations when a doctor needs assistance to deliver a newborn vaginally. These situations include:

  • The baby is displaying a fatal heart rate.
  • The baby isn’t progressing properly to the second stage of labor.
  • The baby is not positioned properly and/or gets stuck during the process of birth.
  • The mother is in the second stage of labor for too long.
  • The mother isn’t able to finish the vaginal birth because of fatigue.
  • The mother’s pelvis is too small for the birth.
  • The baby is too large.

The Dangers of a Vacuum Extraction Delivery

While the use of a vacuum extraction can aid a difficult birth, a vacuum extractor can present the following real dangers to the child:

  • Damage to the baby’s sensitive scalp and skull (mostly cosmetic damage that will heal within a couple of months)
  • Brain hemorrhages or swelling
  • Skull fractures
  • Severe nerve damage

If your child suffers any of these damages, he is at risk of cerebral palsy as well as intellectual and motor disabilities. If your doctor does not properly use the vacuum extractor because he is inexperienced, the fetus is premature, or there are other labor complications, your child could be at risk for these injuries.

Seek Legal Action

If your child has suffered injuries due to a vacuum extraction, don’t hesitate to contact the Holton Law Firm to help you build a case. A birth injury can change the life of a child and your entire family. Contact us for a free consultation.