Vacuum Delivery During Childbirth Complications

Some deliveries utilize the assistance of a vacuum extractor. When used properly, your doctor can help bring your baby onto the other side safely. he assistance of a vacuum extractor. But a vacuum delivery during childbirth may put your baby at risk. Improper use can cause serious trauma to the baby. Brain or nerve damage are some of the more common results of a vacuum delivery gnoe wrong.

Just like no two pregnancies are the same, labor and delivery is a unique experience as well. Some women labor for a very short amount of time before meeting their baby. Others may need an emergency C-section to bring their bundle of joy into the world safely. Other deliveries might require the assistance of medical devices.

A vacuum extractor is a medical device that may help a stalling labor. However, a doctor’s negligence can turn a vacuum delivery during delivery into a nightmare. Were you the victim of medical malpractice? Did a vacuum-assisted delivery lead to injuries to your baby? If you answered yes, you might be entitled to compensation. Our team of experts can help you answer any questions regarding filing a claim. Get in touch with Hampton & King today.

Woman in hospital experiencing labor.

What Is A Vacuum Extractor?

A vacuum extractor is often used to help with a stalling labor. But how? Does it work just like a traditional vacuum? Sort of.

A vacuum extractor has a soft suction cup at one end. This end is meant to suction onto the baby’s head. The combination of a mother’s push and the vacuum can aid the baby down the birth canal during a contraction. It makes sense right? If the baby is stuck in the birth canal, and no progress is being made, your doctor or midwife might use a device to assist you. A vacuum delivery can help if:

  • The mother is exhausted from pushing
  • No labor progression is being made
  • A medical condition is preventing the mother from pushing more
  • The baby’s heartbeat is abnormal and remaining in the birth canal for too long can pose a danger

The medical device comes with guidelines. This includes clear directions of when not to use the device. These instances include:

  • Pregnancy has not passed the 34-week mark
  • The baby’s head has not reached at least the middle of the birth canal
  • Baby is not head down. Instead, shoulders, feet, or arms are descending first
  • The baby is too big 

Unfortunately, vacuum delivery during childbirth sometimes takes place even with these factors. In many cases this pure negligence by the health care team. Our lawyers can help you identify if birth injury malpractice is to fault.

Can A Vacuum Delivery Cause Brain Damage?

Improper use of a vacuum extractor can cause serious injury to a baby or the mother. Or both. While some injuries appear right away, others may take up to several weeks to be obvious. That’s why it isn’t always easy knowing if your child sustained injury because of negligence. 

Here are some short-term problems a mother might face with a vacuum delivery:

  • Blood clotting
  • Vaginal tears which could lead to further infections
  • Incontinence
  • Anemia from blood loss
  • Pelvic pain

Short-term problems a baby may face include bruising on the head and swelling.

These issues normally resolve within a few weeks. Unfortunately, the use of a vacuum extractor can lead to serious, permanent injuries as well. Brain damage is also a very real consequence of vacuum delivery during childbirth. Bleeding under the scalp or inside of the skull can occur. This can cause brain damage and can sometimes be life threatening. It can also lead to developmental issues that remain for life.

Other long-term consequences for a baby include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Developmental and cognitive issues
  • Hearing issues including permanent hearing loss
  • Hematomas
  • Skull fracture
  • Severe jaundice

Treating Vacuum Extraction Injuries

Some injuries a baby may sustain because of a vacuum delivery during childbirth can be treated. But doctors must address any issues quickly. Additional monitoring can help with bruising and swelling on the head. These should go away on their own. A doctor should keep an eye on it however to ensure it doesn’t get worse and lead to other complications. A mother’s injuries, such as vaginal tears, can be taken care of via stitches.

However, brain damage isn’t typically reversible. Through therapy, a child may be able to recover some motor skills and functioning. That depends on the severity of the damage. It’s important to note that negligence using a vacuum extractor can lead to permanent, irreversible damage.

Newborn baby after vacuum delivery.

Seeking Justice For A Botched Vacuum Delivery

Labor and delivery is stressful enough. Sustaining preventable injuries due to a doctor’s neglect is devastating. Although reversing those injuries may not be an option, we can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. Please reach out to us today to discuss how we can work together and file a claim against malpractice.