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Vacuum Extraction Birth Injuries

Most babies are born in the United States without any injuries or complications. However, there are a number of infants who are not so lucky. In a small number of cases, infants are injured during birth. Some of these injuries may be minor and the infant will make a full recovery, but a portion of infants will sustain long-term or permanent harm. One of the common types of problems that can occur to an infant during delivery is an injury caused by an assisted birth. Vacuum extraction is often used by doctors to assist with difficult deliveries.

How the Vacuum Extractor Works

It is necessary to understand how vacuum extraction works to gain insight into the types of injuries that it can cause. The vacuum extractor uses suction to assist in pulling the baby out during difficult deliveries. According to the FDA, there can be risks in using a vacuum extractor, especially when used incorrectly. The baby cannot be less than 34 weeks gestation and the baby should not be too large for the mother’s pelvis. The mother must be fully dilated and the baby has to be in the correct position. If any of these problems exist, there is a higher likelihood of injury to the baby.

Types of Injuries

There are a number of different injuries that may occur due to the use of a vacuum extractor. Some of the most common injuries include:

· Skull Fractures
· Retinal Hemorrhages
· Shoulder Dystocia
· Erb’s Palsy
· Brain Hemorrhages
· Cerebral Palsy

These injuries range from mild problems that will heal quickly, to more serious harm or even a permanent physical or mental disability. If a child has suffered an injury during birth they are likely to have a lower than average APGAR score. Other indications may be diminished mobility or seizures that occur soon after birth. The doctors should be aware of the potential for harm and must take precautions to ensure safety when using the equipment.

Prevention of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are preventable. In cases where the labor or delivery is taking too long, when the baby is stuck, or when complications occur, the doctor must take special precautions to ensure the safety of the infant. Pulling the infant with too much pressure can cause serious injuries. The mother and baby should be properly monitored during labor and if any problems are noted, a c-section may be necessary.

In a c-section the baby is removed from the mother through a surgical procedure rather than through vaginal delivery. When a birth injury happens, the doctor may not provide the parents with information detailing exactly what happened. An experienced birth injury attorney will assist in finding out the cause of the injury and help you seek legal action against a doctor or hospital who were negligent.

If your infant sustained an injury at birth you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the compassionate legal team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation today.

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