Although the oblique traction of metal or soft cup vacuum extractors can be beneficial in assisting with a vaginal delivery when labor is stalled, such devices can also pose risks to infants during delivery. At The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., in Scottsdale, our attorney works hard to help hold negligent medical professionals accountable and to help you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
When Vacuum Force Is Applied Negligently, Serious Injuries Can Occur
When an extractor is used and vacuum force is applied, the baby’s scalp is literally drawn or sucked into the cup portion of the device, which may cause bleeding of the scalp or under the scalp, where the scalp is attached to the skull.
An obstetrician who misapplies the extractor cup to a baby’s head in an inept or inappropriate manner may cause serious or potentially fatal birth injuries. A doctor may negligently exceed the number of medically safe extraction attempts or apply torque (twisting) or erratic movements to a vacuum extractor that requires steady traction in direct line with the birth passage.
The negligent use or application of vacuum extractors can leave newborns with a variety of injuries:
Bruises — Known as infant hematomas or cephalohematomas, bruises on the scalp are common birth injuries in infants delivered via vacuum extraction.
Swelling of the scalp — Swelling of the tissues on the crown of the head, often referred to as a “chignon,” dissipates within days or weeks of birth.
Scalp abrasions and lacerations — Small abrasions or cookie cutter-like cuts can occur due to improper placement of the cup on the baby’s head. The cup can also pop off during delivery due to physician error.
Subgaleal or intracranial hemorrhage — This is rare, but potentially fatal, and is characterized by excessive vein or intracranial bleeding.
Diastatic skull fractures — The skull separates along the immature suture lines of an infant’s skull.
Retinal hemorrhage — According to the Journal of Perinatal Medicine, retinal hemorrhage occurred in 36% of the newborns tested who were delivered by vacuum extractor, as opposed to 10.5% of those who were delivered naturally.
Contact Our Arizona Lawyer For Birth Injury Representation
If a doctor’s negligent actions caused injury to your baby due to the misapplication or improper use of a vacuum extractor, call upon the litigation and trial skills of attorney Robert H. Kleinschmidt. Please contact us online or call us at 480-951-3949. We provide legal representation to people located throughout the greater Phoenix area.