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Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

Vacuum Extractions Cause Preventable Kentucky Birth Injuries

When injuries during childbirth occur, it is often a confusing time for a parent. One of the most pressing questions is whether the birth injury occurred naturally or if it was due to an accident caused by a negligent doctor.

One way birth injuries in Northern Kentucky have occurred is through the use of vacuum extraction. Not all vacuum extractions cause injuries to newborns, but the use of this medical equipment can cause complications and injuries during childbirth.

What Every Kentucky Parent Should Know About Vacuum Extraction

Doctors sometimes use a vacuum extractor during complicated deliveries. They place a plastic cup on the child's head and connect it to the vacuum extraction equipment. This suction effect aids in moving the infant through the birth canal faster. Each doctor has to decide when to use vacuum extraction, making sure it is safe for the baby.

Although there is a lot of pressure on doctors to make quick decisions during difficult deliveries, this is what they are trained to do. Expecting mothers put their trust in doctors to help deliver their babies safely and injury free. When a doctor does not use the vacuum extractor correctly or uses it erroneously instead of a more appropriate method, they may be liable for the injury.

Injuries that Result from Vacuum Extraction

There are two types of Kentucky birth injuries that are common for infants to sustain during vacuum extraction, including:
  • Cephalohematoma - the force of the vacuum can cause tiny veins to tear, which can lead to bleeding that causes blood to collect under the infant's scalp. A newborn's head will feel soft and squishy, and it will look swollen and bruised when this injury occurs. 
  • Caput Succedaneum - temporary swelling of the scalp happens due to the force of vacuum extraction. The soft, puffy swelling symptoms should go away within a couple days. 
The reason vacuum extraction injuries occur is because once the vacuum cup is placed on the baby's head, the amniotic sac is no longer protecting the head and membranes can rupture during this process. A newborn can also suffer an underlying bone fracture of the skull with the use of vacuum extraction.

Because vacuum extraction adds additional pressure to the baby's head during delivery, these birth injuries are common. Although most of the time these injuries completely heal on their own, they should have never happened in the first place.

If your newborn sustained a Fort Wright birth injury in Kentucky due to the use of a vacuum extractor, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your medical bills, future medical care, grief, anguish, and more. Call an experienced Northern Kentucky birth injury lawyer at the law office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson to find out about your rights. Call today at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297, and we will provide you with a free legal consultation.

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