New Jersey Vacuum Delivery Error Lawyers
Birth Injury Attorneys in Passaic County, New Jersey
Pregnancies are highly variable, as are the deliveries that ultimately bring babies into the world. Each woman has a unique set of attributes and indicators that must be considered and taken into account as obstetricians and other medical professionals advise and make critical decisions in the best interests of their patients. Variables including age, weight, preexisting conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, and genetic predispositions can influence the mother and child before, during, and after birth. The progression of delivery is one such example of the extent to which pregnancies can range from woman to woman. For some, delivery is smooth sailing, with few complications and a short time frame from beginning to end. For others, delivery can span for hours, or even days, with significant difficulties.
In certain cases, a delivery’s failure to progress, the baby’s position, lack of oxygen, or other circumstances can pose a threat to the mother and child. At this point, an intervention such as a C-section or vacuum extraction may be necessary. Like all medical interventions, these procedures come with inherent risks. If a medical professional is negligent in performing such procedures, devastating consequences may result. At Fronzuto Law Group, our highly experienced pediatric and medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to advocating for victims and families who suffer harm as a result of medical negligence. We have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of mothers and infants with conditions ranging from newborn respiratory distress syndrome to epidural abscess and cord compression. To discuss your case with one of our knowledgeable lawyers today, contact our Passaic County, New Jersey offices at 973-435-4551 for a cost-free consultation.
Vacuum Extraction: The Basics
Vacuum extraction is a form of assisted delivery, also known as operative vaginal delivery. The use of forceps represents yet another type of assisted delivery, both of which involve the help of a physician to remove a baby from the birth canal. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, assisted delivery occurs in approximately 3 percent of vaginal deliveries in the United States. There are a number of circumstances that may lead a medical professional to recommend vacuum extraction as a form of assisted delivery, including:
- If the baby is in an abnormal position
- If the baby is suffering from inadequate oxygen
- If the baby’s heart rate is abnormal
- If the mother is exhausted from prolonged labor
- If the mother has received an epidural and cannot push effectively
- If the mother has a medical condition that raises the risk associated with pushing
If a doctor determines that vacuum extraction is the best option, he or she will use a vacuum extractor, which is a small suction cup that is applied to the top of the baby’s head. With suction provided by a vacuum pump that is attached via a tube, the doctor uses traction, along with the mother’s pushing, to gently pull the baby from the birth canal during a contraction.
The Risks of Vacuum Extraction Delivery
Under certain circumstances, vacuum extraction represents a desirable alternative to a cesarean section, which comes with the risks associated with major surgery. However, vacuum extractors have their own inherent risks, particularly when they are used inappropriately or incorrectly. For example, vacuum extraction is contraindicated in cases in which the baby is over-sized or the mother’s pelvis is too small to allow for a natural birth. Additionally, vacuum extractors should not be used in pregnancies at fewer than 34 weeks gestation. Further, if the baby’s head has not dropped down into the pelvis, or the mother’s cervix is not fully dilated, vacuum extraction is not recommended.
If vacuum extraction is considered a viable option, incorrect use of the device can also spell catastrophic consequences. Improper placement of the extractor on the baby’s head or improper technique in pulling the baby from the birth canal are two common delivery errors involving vacuum extraction.
Potential Consequences of Vacuum Extractor Errors
If medical professionals elect to use vacuum extraction under inappropriate circumstances, or improperly perform vacuum delivery, the results can be severe, if not fatal. Some of the most frequent complications resulting from vacuum extractor errors include:
- Brain Damage
- Brain Hemorrhage
- Bleeding inside the skull
- Skull fractures
- Injuries to the scalp or head
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Erb’s Palsy
- Eye injuries
Contact our Bergen County NJ Vacuum Extraction Injury Attorneys Today
If you or your baby has suffered an injury and you believe that a vacuum extraction error during delivery may be the cause, contact Fronzuto Law Group today at 973-435-4551 or toll free at 888-409-0816 for a cost-free consultation. One of our skilled birth injury lawyers will be happy to answer your questions and outline your available legal options.