Injuries Due to Vacuum Extractor And Forceps Injury
Vacuum extractors and forceps are medical instruments used to assist in the delivery of the baby during childbirth. A vacuum extractor is a suction device that is placed on the baby’s head to assist in the delivery. Forceps are metal instruments shaped like large spoons or tongs that are used to grasp the baby’s head and assist in the delivery. Although they are considered safe, they can cause injuries to both the mother and baby if not used properly. The use of vacuum extractors and forceps during childbirth carries the risk of certain injuries to both the baby and, in rare cases, the mother. Here are some of the common injuries that can occur:
Injuries to the Baby
- Scalp Bruising and Swelling: The vacuum or forceps can cause bruising and swelling on the baby’s scalp, which is relatively common and usually resolves without long-term consequences.
- Cephalohematoma: This is a collection of blood between the skull and the periosteum (the covering of the bone). It can result from vacuum extraction or forceps delivery and may require monitoring but often resolves on its own.
- Subgaleal Hemorrhage: In rare cases, excessive use of vacuum extractors or forceps can cause bleeding between the scalp and the skull. This condition can be serious and may require immediate medical attention.
- Skull Fractures: Improper application or excessive force during the use of vacuum extractors or forceps can cause fractures in the baby’s skull, although this is relatively rare.
Injuries to the Mother
- Vaginal Tears or Lacerations: The use of forceps or vacuum extractors can sometimes lead to tears or lacerations in the mother’s vaginal area, especially if the instruments are applied forcefully or incorrectly.
- Perineal Trauma: Perineal trauma refers to damage or injury to the area between the vaginal opening and the anus. It can occur during instrumental deliveries and may range from minor tears to more extensive lacerations.
- Pelvic Floor Disorders: There is a potential risk of long-term pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary or fecal incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, in some cases of instrumental deliveries. However, these complications are generally not common.
It’s important to note that while these injuries can occur, they are not guaranteed outcomes of vacuum extraction or forceps delivery. The likelihood and severity of these injuries can vary depending on various factors, including the skill and experience of the healthcare provider, the specific circumstances of the delivery, and the condition of the mother and baby.
If you suspect that you or your child have experienced an injury related to the use of vacuum extractors or forceps during childbirth, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management.
Potential Causes of Vacuum Extractor And Forceps Injury
Injuries related to vacuum extractors and forceps can occur due to various factors, including:
- Incorrect placement or positioning of the instruments.
- Excessive force during the extraction process.
- Prolonged or difficult delivery.
- Failure to assess the appropriateness of instrument use based on the specific circumstances of the delivery.
- Inadequate training or experience of the healthcare provider using the instruments.
If you believe that your child has suffered an injury due to the improper use of vacuum extractors or forceps during childbirth, it may be worth consulting with a birth injury lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group to discuss your case. Our birth injury lawyer can evaluate the details of the situation, review medical records, consult with experts, and determine if there are grounds for a potential medical malpractice claim.