Baltimore Vacuum Extraction Injury Lawyer
Vacuum extraction is one way doctors can complete the birthing process when an otherwise difficult birth could cause injuries due to prolonged labor. Used appropriately, vacuum extraction is safe and effective, and even life-saving. In the hands of an unskilled or negligent doctor, however, vacuum extraction can cause serious or deadly injuries.
Using vacuum extraction when other methods are more appropriate, or negligently performing vacuum extraction, are examples of medical negligence that doctors and hospitals can be liable for. The Baltimore vacuum extraction lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman hold doctors and hospitals accountable for vacuum extraction injuries that occur when medical professionals fail to perform their jobs up to the acceptable level of skill and care. Learn more about these types of injuries below, and call our office if you think a doctor’s negligence or error resulted in a birth injury to your baby.
When Is Vacuum Extraction Used?
Vacuum extraction is a birthing method that requires attaching small, flexible, round cups to the infant’s head while in the birth canal. A handheld or electrical pump creates suction which keeps the cups secured to the baby’s head as the doctor pulls gently on the cups, guiding the baby through the birth canal while the mother pushes.
Vacuum extraction is used when labor might be abnormally prolonged, which is dangerous to the baby as well as the mother. Situations when vacuum extraction might be called for include:
- Abnormal birth position
- High birth weight baby
- Shape and size of mother’s pelvis
- Narrow birth canal
Vacuum extraction is only one tool that can be used to assist in a difficult birth caused by one of the above factors. Other options that might be available to include using forceps or performing a c-section instead of vaginal birth. Medical staff should be aware of all these options and know when to choose the best method in the particular circumstances. For instance, vacuum extraction is considered too dangerous to perform on preterm infants. It is also dangerous to perform if the infant is not presenting head first.
What Are Vacuum Extraction Injuries?
There are many ways that negligent performance of vacuum extraction can injure the infant. Some of the most common are:
- Skull fractures
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brain hemorrhage
- Cerebral palsy
- Retinal hemorrhages
Bruising on the head, called cephalohematoma, is a common but generally harmless effect of vacuum extraction that usually heals within a few days. In contrast, some of the other injuries described above can cause developmental delays or permanent injuries such as paralysis that last a lifetime. Vacuum extraction injuries can also be fatal.
Vacuum extraction injuries can require surgery or other medical treatment to repair, along with a long period of rehabilitation. In the case of permanent injuries, injury victims can require a lifetime of ongoing physical, occupational, cognitive and behavioral therapy, as well as adaptive medical devices and assistive technology to help them function independently to the fullest extent and with as much quality of life as possible. Our goal as birth injury attorneys is to see that our clients receive the appropriate medical care and attention they need, along with a significant amount of compensation to help them deal with the challenges they will face, and grow and thrive despite the stumbling blocks put in their path by negligent doctors and preventable mistakes made at the hospital during birth.
Help After a Vacuum Extraction Birth Injury in Baltimore
If you believe that your child suffered a birth injury at a Baltimore hospital due to negligent use of a vacuum extractor, please call Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman at 410-998-3600 to speak with one of our attorneys. Your consultation is free, and we don’t charge any fee until after we are successful in recovering compensation on you and your child’s behalf.