Aggressive Protection of Your Family’s Rights After an Accident with a Vacuum Extractor
Helping victims throughout Washington, D.C.
Babies sometimes need a little extra coaxing to come into the world. When they do, a doctor may use a vacuum extractor to help guide the child down and through the birth canal. If the extractor is not used correctly, or if there is an underlying defect, your child may have to live with the repercussions forever.
At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we offer comprehensive counsel to clients throughout Washington, D.C. whose children have been injured by a vacuum extractor. Our father-and-sons team of attorneys understands the importance of family, so we focus our energies on protecting birth injury and birth trauma victims. If your child was hurt during delivery, our family wants to help yours.
What is a vacuum extractor, and how does it work?
A vacuum extractor is a device that uses suction to help move the baby along. A small cup is inserted into the birth canal and placed on the baby’s head while taking care to ensure no tissue is trapped between the head and cup. Failure to do this can cause internal damage to the mother or impede the strength of the suction.
A pump attached to the cup is then used to create a strong vacuum. During contractions, the vacuum pressure is quickly increased to pull the baby through the birth canal as the mother continues to push. It may take several rounds of pushing/pulling to deliver the baby’s head so that the vacuum can be removed.
If the vacuum extraction is unsuccessful, it may become necessary to proceed with a cesarean section delivery.
When would an ob/gyn use a vacuum extractor?
For women whose labor has stalled, or for babies who are beginning to show signs of distress or who are not positioned perfectly, a vacuum extractor may become necessary to speed up the delivery process. This can help save the life of the child and the mother who may otherwise experience complications.
To be a good candidate for vacuum extraction the:
- Mother is over 34 weeks pregnant
- Mother’s cervix is fully dilated and her membranes have ruptured
- Baby is positioned headfirst and is more than midway down the birth canal.
- Baby has no diagnosed disorders in the womb that would add to the risk
- Baby’s size does not make birth difficult
Using vacuum extraction under other circumstances can be dangerous and risk harm to the baby or mother.
Why is vacuum delivery dangerous for babies and mothers?
The risks that vacuum extractors carry can be costly in more ways than one. If the pump is defective, or if the doctor misplaces the cup on top of the child’s head, your infant could suffer from birth injuries and trauma such as:
- Brachial plexus injuries, including Klumpke’s Palsy and Erb’s Palsy.
- Shoulder dystocia caused by a baby’s shoulder becoming lodged behind the mother’s pubic bone, which can cut off oxygen to the brain.
- Hemorrhaging inside the skull, which can lead to brain swelling.
- Lacerations and bruising on the skin that can allow infection to enter the baby’s body.
- Damage to the baby’s eyes or ocular sockets, which can result in vision problems.
- Seizures or cardiac arrest from the shock of the difficult birth, which can end in death.
- Skull fractures if the pump suction is too strong, which can lead to brain bleed.
- Oxygen deprivation leading to brain damage if the pump is too weak causing the birth to be delayed and the baby to experience distress.
- Pain in the perineum after an episiotomy required during the delivery process, which can cause pain during sex, swelling, bleeding, and fecal incontinence.
- Tears from tissue lining the birth canal becoming caught between the baby’s head and vacuum cup posing risk of infection.
- Short-term difficulty urinating or emptying the bladder.
- Short-term or long-term urinary incontinence.
At Paulson & Nace, we strive for justice on behalf of our clients. We know you have questions; we want to find your answers. Our experience in the areas of product liability and medical malpractice law make us ideal partners for birth injury cases involving vacuum extractors because it allows us to customize our approach to these cases. We can view all sides of an argument to create options for our clients designed to help protect themselves and their families in the future.
Can you make a claim for damages for vacuum extractor injuries?
When ant act of labor or delivery negligence causes harm, there are certain categories of compensation that may be available to the family who suffers as a result. It will by no means make up for what you may have lost if your child experiences a life-long disability. The purpose of any financial award is to penalize those who carelessly harmed your family while offering some comfort in the knowledge that you may not have to financially struggle to provide the care you and your child deserve after being robbed of the life you planned.
Some of the damages you may be able to claim include:
- Past and future medical expenses to include potential future surgeries
- Assistive devices
- Ongoing therapy
- Pain, suffering, emotional anguish
The attorneys of Paulson & Nace are thorough in their preparation of all cases and do not back down in the face of insurance and manufacturing companies. While we want to help you begin the recovery process as quickly as possible, we do not accept low settlement figures just to put your case to bed. Instead, we will fight for your rights, your family, and your future in court, and we do not stop unless we know you are safe and satisfied.
Legal advocates you can count on when you need them the most
Paulson & Nace, PLLC, is a premier medical malpractice law firm serving victims throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area and West Virginia. If you were the victim of a negligent vacuum delivery you owe it to yourselves to understand your legal options. Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation today by calling 202.463.1999 or by reaching out to us through our contact form.