Vacuum & Forceps Injuries
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When complications occur during delivery, obstetricians may turn to the use of tools to help overcome these problems and safely deliver a baby. However, tools such as vacuum extractors and forceps come with their own set of risks. Doctors and other medical staff have a responsibility to follow protocol and correctly assess if the use of vacuums or forceps is proper for a given situation. If a doctor makes a poor or incorrect decision, a complicated delivery could turn tragic.
Deliveries that are particularly difficult or slow may call for the use of a vacuum extractor. A vacuum extractor has a small cup that fits around the baby’s head. It uses a small tube connected to a vacuum pump that provides a solid seal around the baby’s head. During contractions, a physician will gently pull on the extractor to bring the infant’s head out of the birth canal.
Vacuum extractors are ideal for pregnancies of more than 34 weeks and must be used with caution if the gestation period is shorter. A baby’s large size could make vacuum extractors and unsafe choice for delivery. If a doctor does not properly place a suction cup on the infant’s head, an injury may occur. Physicians that pull too hard while using a vacuum extractor may cause nerve damage, and in the worst situations, death.
Doctors also use obstetrical forceps when the delivery process is difficult or taking too long. Instead of pulling directly on the head as a vacuum extractor does, forceps are used to guide the baby through the birth canal. Each side of the forceps is placed on the side of the baby’s head, resting near the cheeks. The tool is used to guide the child’s head downward and out of the birth canal.
While using forceps, doctors must be very careful not to turn the head of the child. Neck and head injuries may happen if too much force is applied by the obstetrician while using forceps.
Injuries caused by vacuum extractors and forceps include:
- Brain bleeds
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Cerebral palsy
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If vacuum extraction or forceps injured your baby during delivery, you deserve answers. While vacuum extraction and forceps may be the best option for some deliveries, doctors must rely on their training to judge when their use is needed. If a doctor makes the wrong decision or uses these tools improperly, a birth injury attorney can help your family hold them accountable and fight for the resources your child is going to need.
Birth injuries are more than just difficult—they are a costly burden for many families. A birth injury claim can recover compensation to pay off medical debt, make up for lost time at work, and cover any future care needed because of injuries to your child. Families deserve to focus on recovery instead of finances, and an attorney can help make that happen. Because medical malpractice attorneys cover the cost of each case upfront, anyone can afford to hire a medical malpractice attorney no matter their income. It doesn’t cost any extra to hire the nation’s best birth injury lawyers, so call Birth Injury Guide to speak with an accomplished birth injury lawyer today.
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When a baby is disproportionately large relative to the due date or the size of the mother.
Babies born prior to 37 Weeks are at a heightened risk of birth injury and often have complicated medical problems.
Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)
Size and/or shape of mother's pelvis was not adequate for baby to be born vaginally.
Occurs when a baby is deprived of oxygen to it's brain, before, during or after delivery. This can lead to a variety of severe brain injuries.
Labors lasting longer than 20+ hours can cause HIE, cerebral palsy, infection, sepsis, meningitis and many other issues to the baby.
Abnormal Birth Position
Babies born face first, feet first or buttocks first are at risk as the baby could become stuck in the birth canal.