There are instances when extra assistance is needed during a vaginal childbirth. This may happen when there’s a medical condition, if labor isn’t progressing, or if there’s a problem with the baby’s heartbeat or vital signs. Sometimes, a doctor needs to perform a vacuum extraction. The extractor—resembling a soft cup connected to a vacuum pump—is attached to the baby’s head to help guide him out of the birth canal. But if this measure is needed, babies can suffer injuries during the process.
Birth Injuries Caused by Vacuum Extractions
While a vacuum extraction delivery can be helpful in certain circumstances, it’s important to be aware of the serious birth injuries it can cause. Your child may be at risk for the following injuries due to a vacuum extraction delivery:
- Retinal hemorrhages. This is an eye disorder where bleeding happens in the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
- Brain bleeds, brain damage, and cerebral palsy. One of the more serious complications of a vacuum extraction is brain bleeding. This occurs when the vacuum ruptures a vein, causing bleeding between the skull and scalp. This can often lead to cerebral palsy.
- Erb’s palsy. This occurs when the nerves leading to the baby’s arms and hands are injured, making it impossible to flex or rotate the arm.
It is important to note that when a vacuum extraction is recommended, a C-section is also an alternative. Additionally, your doctor should know when it’s necessary to abandon the vacuum and perform an emergency C-section.
Was Your Child Injured by a Vacuum Extraction Delivery?
If your child suffered injuries as a result of a vacuum extraction delivery, the attorneys at Kennedy Hodges LLP are prepared to help you through this difficult time. Start a live chat with us on our website now to discuss your situation, or call us at 855-947-0707 for your free consultation.