The medical malpractice attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm handle birth injury cases, including those involving Vacuum Extractor Injuries. If you or your child was harmed during childbirth and a Vacuum Extractor was used causing injury, there is a good possibility that it was caused by medical negligence or medical malpractice. It is in your best interests to seek out more information about Vacuum Extractor Injuries if you suspect that medical malpractice or medical negligence may have been involved in the delivery process. Information on what Vacuum Extractor Injuries are and what it might mean for you and your child can be found below. Additionally, the medical malpractice attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm invite you to contact us, either at 937-228-2306 or 1-800-VERDICT or by contacting us online.
What is a Vacuum Extractor?
Vacuum Extractors are a device sometimes used to assist in delivery and childbirth. During some childbirths, complications may arise which prevent the delivery from proceeding naturally, and assistance may be required to help the child pass through the vaginal canal. This assistance can come in several forms. One form is a Vacuum Extractor. This form of assistance is often used when the head of the infant is visible or low enough in the birth channel to be accessed, but the rest of the infant’s body is having trouble being delivered.
A Vacuum Extractor is a device where the doctor places a plastic cup on the infant’s head. The cup is attached to a vacuum pump. The suction created by this vacuum, in addition to the gentle pulling and guiding by the doctor, can aid the mother in pushing the rest of the infant out of the birth channel. Alternatives to a Vacuum Extractor are the use of Forceps or a Caesarean Section.
This process will often be used if the delivery has become stalled or complicated. These reasons may include:
- Maternal Exhaustion
- A prolonged second stage of labor
- Fetal distress in the second stage of labor – Particularly that of high fetal heart rate
- Maternal Condition – Such as illness that would make ‘pushing’ efforts risky
There are some advantages to choosing a Vacuum Extractor over Forceps or a Caesarean Section. With a Vacuum Extractor, an episiotomy may not be necessary and no special anesthesia is required. The force applied to the infant is generally less than when using forceps, and no marks are left on the face. (However, with a Vacuum Extractor, infants are often left with a temporary lump on their heads, called a chignon. The chignon disappears on its own, usually within a week or so.) Additionally, there is less potential for trauma to the mother than with Forceps or Caesarean Section.
Consequences of Vacuum Extractor Injuries
While the use of a Vacuum Extractor is generally safe, injuries are possible. These injuries most often occur due to incorrect use of the Vacuum Extractor, and can be quite severe and extensive. The skulls of newborn infants are extremely soft and malleable. The naturally soft skull aids in the birthing process to allow the infant to pass through both the pelvis and the birth channel. However, this softness does expose the infant to potential injury, which can be critical.
In fact, the Federal Drug Administration regulates the use of Vacuum Extractors and have issued multiple advisories in recognition of the potential danger for severe injuries. These advisories particularly target the use of the device by inexperienced or improperly trained medical staff.
Additionally, as with any form of assisted delivery, the procedure may not work and a Caesarean Section may be required.
Some potential consequences of improper Vacuum Extractor use are as follows.
- Swelling of scalp and/or brain
- Damage to scalp and/or brain
- Skull fractures, bone distortions
- Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in or around the brain)
- Neonatal jaundice
- Cerebral Palsy
- Shoulder Dystocia and injuries resulting from the condition
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
In the most severe cases, issues during childbirth may cause complications which lead to the death of the infant.
Medical and Legal Significance of Vacuum Extractor Injuries
Vacuum Extractor Injuries are often caused by incorrect use of the device or by an improper procedure or technique. As such, the resulting harm from a Vacuum Extractor Injury may be due to medical malpractice or medical negligence.
A doctor or medical professional may not have the proper training to use a Vacuum Extractor. They may use the technique improperly, pulling to hard or carelessly, or putting too much pressure on the infant’s skull. Failure to properly monitor the situation or the childbirth may result in the need for an assisted delivery when there wouldn’t have been the need otherwise. A doctor may also decide to use a Vacuum Extractor when use of Forceps or a Caesarean Section would have been the more appropriate choice.
Doctors and medical professionals have an obligation to prevent harm or injury from occurring, and to ensure that their actions do not cause preventable harm or injury. Vacuum Extractors, while a useful tool for assisting in childbirth, create an opportunity for harm or injury to occur to an infant. Doctors and medical professionals must take care when using a Vacuum Extractor to make sure that they do not commit medical malpractice or negligence and, most important, cause any harm or injury.
Seeking Legal Counsel and Guidance
If you have experienced the use of a Vacuum Extractor during childbirth which resulted in health issues or injuries to your child, medical malpractice or negligence may be the cause. The medical malpractice attorneys at the Brannon Law Firm have the skill and experience to discover whether your or your child’s health issues are a result of a Vacuum Extractor injury and whether those health issues could have been avoided or prevented, as well as to help ensure that you or your child receive the assistance you need and deserve.
Medical malpractice and medical negligence is preventable. It is caused by the error, improper action, or lack of action by medical professionals. It is important to hold those medical professionals to the proper standards of care and to hold them accountable for the harm and damage they may cause. The Brannon Law Firm can help hold those at fault accountable.
Additionally, treatment for you or your child may be difficult, both financially and emotionally. The consequences of Vacuum Extractor Injury can be numerous in possibilities and can be severe and long lasting, requiring years of medical treatment, loss of quality of life, and costly medical bills. It is important to ensure you have the assistance and care that you or your child deserves to live the best life possible. The Brannon Law Firm can help with that process.
At the Brannon Law Firm, we have represented many families and infants who were unfortunate victims of Vacuum Extractor Injuries. We have obtained favorable verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients in Vacuum Extractor Injury cases. Our expertise in handling medical malpractice claims has resulted in a history of large settlements and verdicts in medical malpractice cases.
We invite you to contact us, either at 937-228-2306 or 1-800-VERDICT for free consultation to see if you have a claim for medical malpractice. The Brannon Law Firm is proud to serve clients in Dayton and throughout the State of Ohio.