Vacuum extraction can help with a difficult childbirth. But the process carries a host of risks both to the baby and mother. The procedure involves the application of a vacuum inside the birth canal. The doctor activates the vacuum, which guides the baby by the head out of the birth canal. Often, doctors order the procedure when the birth is not progressing on its own, despite the mother’s pushing.
If you or your child suffered injury during a vacuum extraction, you could have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. A vacuum extraction birth injury lawyer from Newsome | Melton may be able to help you recover compensation. We aggressively pursue health care providers who behave negligently and cause injuries during childbirth.
For a free case evaluation to learn how our medical malpractice attorneys can help you, call 888-526-8947 today.
Why Doctors Order Vacuum Extractions
Since vacuum extraction poses serious health risks, doctors should not order it without a good reason. Here are some situations in which a doctor might have grounds to order a vacuum extraction:
The Baby Is Not Coming Out
No matter how hard the mother pushes, some babies do not seem to want to come out. An obstetrician might order a vacuum extraction when they feel labor is not progressing fast enough. “Fast enough” differs depending on whether or not the mother received an epidural and whether or not she has given birth before, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The Medical Provider Has Concerns About the Baby’s Health
In some situations, during delivery, the obstetrician might discover something about the baby that concerns them. For instance, the baby might have a weak or irregular heartbeat. In response, the obstetrician may decide the baby needs to come out as quickly as possible. Vacuum extraction is one way to speed up labor. Other options include a forceps delivery and a C-section.
The Provider Is Concerned About the Mother’s Health
Alternatively, the provider might have health concerns about the mother and thus might not wanting her pushing or exerting herself for an extended time.
The Newsome | Melton Medical Malpractice Legal Team Helps You Recover Compensation for Vacuum Extraction Birth Injuries
Vacuum extraction carries several risks to both the mother and the child. Your medical provider has a duty to understand these risks and to properly weigh them against the benefits of the procedure. Failure to do so may constitute medical malpractice.
Common risks to the mother include:
- Trauma to the lower genital tract
- Difficulty with urination
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Anemia (resulting from blood loss during the birth)
- Pelvic organ prolapse
Risks to the baby include:
- Wounds to the head or face
- Brachial plexus injury (nerve damage in the shoulder resulting from the baby’s shoulder getting stuck against the pelvic wall after the head has been delivered)
- Skull fracture
- Bleeding in the skull
Trust the Medical Malpractice Team at Newsome | Melton to Build a Strong Case for Damages
At Newsome | Melton, our team of medical malpractice lawyers understands what it takes to put together a successful case. We have helped many clients recover damages when their obstetrician or another medical professional injured them or their babies during childbirth. For a case to be successful, it needs to prove four conditions:
The Medical Professional Owed You a Duty of Care
This condition is the easiest to prove. All medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients. That is, if you had an active doctor-patient relationship at the time of the delivery, then your medical professional owed you a duty of care.
The Medical Professional Breached Their Duty of Care
We must show your medical professional did not uphold their duty. We can do this by demonstrating how your obstetrician or midwife failed to behave in a way that one would expect of a reasonable person in the same situation (also known as deviating from the standard of care). If necessary, we will bring in medical expert witnesses to play the role of the reasonable person.
You Suffered Injuries Because of Your Doctor’s Failure
Next, we must draw a clear cause-and-effect link from your obstetrician or midwife’s failure to your or your child’s injuries. We gather and assemble compelling evidence to establish this link, including medical records, lab test results, and expert witness testimony.
You Incurred Damages
Last, we must list the damages you incurred because of your injuries. These damages can be economic (e.g., medical bills) or noneconomic (e.g., pain and suffering).