Are Vacuum Extractions Safe?

In situations that are not medical emergencies, but are nonetheless concerning, a mother and her obstetrician may have options about how to proceed with a nonprogressing labor.  For example, if the baby is not yet in distress but is showing signs of stress, a doctor may recommend a C-section, delivery with the use of forceps or delivery with the use of a vacuum extractor.

Generally, if a vacuum extractor is used correctly it presents fewer risks than other interventions.  However, if a doctor is negligent in his or her use of a vacuum extractor then the following harm may be done:

  • There may be cosmetic harm to the baby’s scalp;
  • There may be bleeding under the skin on the baby’s head, known as a hematoma; or
  • There may be a retinal hemorrhage or an intracranial hemorrhage. 

If your child has suffered because of a doctor’s negligent use of a vacuum extractor then you may be entitled to damages.  Contact a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer for more information about your family’s right to recovery.