We Fight for You
Photo of professionals at Winckler & Harvey PLLC

Reasons for and against vacuum-assisted delivery

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2018 | Birth Injuries

Expectant mothers in Texas should know about vacuum extraction and how it may be utilized during delivery. Also known as vacuum-assisted delivery, it occurs during the second stage of labor when the mother is pushing. A health care provider takes a vacuum with a soft or rigid cup on the front and guides the child out of the birth canal with it.

Vacuum extraction is meant for mothers who are going through prolonged labor or have a medical condition that limits the amount of time they can push. A vacuum could also be used if changes in the baby’s heartbeat suggest the need for immediate delivery. First, the mother’s labor must meet certain criteria: a fully dilated cervix, ruptured membranes and a baby who has descended the birth canal head first.

If the baby’s head has not passed the birth canal’s midway point, or if the position of the head is unknown, the health care provider will likely not recommend vacuum extraction. If the mother is less than 34 weeks pregnant, that will be another factor against getting vacuum-assisted delivery.

One more factor to consider is if the baby has a bleeding disorder or a condition that afflicts the bones. Vacuum-assisted deliveries can only be performed wherever C-sections are also done.

Severe birth injuries to the baby after a vacuum extraction are rare but can still happen. Examples include skull fractures, bleeding within the skull and shoulder dystocia. Parents could file a malpractice claim if they show that the injuries arose from the health care provider’s negligence. This is where a lawyer can come in, evaluate the case and take it on if the evidence is strong. A lawyer could request an inquiry with the local medical board and negotiate for a settlement.

FindLaw Network