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Vacuum extraction is a procedure that is occasionally performed during vaginal delivery. During this procedure, the doctor uses a vacuum to help move the baby through the birth canal, and that vacuum is usually attached to baby’s head using suction. This is typically done during a contraction while the mother is pushing.
There are two types of assisted vaginal delivery methods: forceps and vacuum extraction. Vacuum extraction delivery is typically preferred over forceps delivery; however, as with any procedure, there are risks associated with vacuum extraction delivery. If vacuum extraction fails—or forceps fail to deliver the baby—a cesarean section (C-section) delivery may be necessary. However, C-sections are coupled with unique complications as well.
Three types of vacuum extractors include metal cups, soft cups, and m-cups.
The metal-cup vacuum extractor has a centrally attached chain that connects the cup to a handle used to apply traction. Metal-cup vacuum extraction has a higher success rate and easier cup placement than soft-cup vacuum extraction. However, the metal cups can make application difficult and uncomfortable, and they increase the risk of fetal scalp injuries.
Soft-cup vacuum extractors cause fewer fetal scalp injuries, but they have a higher failure rate.
A new type of cup, the m-cup, combines the advantages of soft cups and metal cups.
Your doctor could recommend vacuum extraction delivery if:
Your doctor could caution against vacuum extraction delivery if:
Vacuum extraction can result in complications for both mothers and infants. While many of these maternal complications are also associated with vaginal deliveries, they are more likely with a vacuum extraction. Serious infant injuries after a vacuum extraction are rare, but possible.
Potential complications for mothers include:
Potential complications for infants include:
Some examples of negligence in vacuum extraction delivery include:
If you believe that your child has been injured as a result of vacuum extraction, your first step is to reach out to a birth injury lawyer. Our Indianapolis attorneys and staff can help you build a case and get you and your child the help you need.
With a strong and trustworthy attorney, you’ll have someone advocating for what’s rightfully yours. Contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham for a consultation to decide how to best move forward with your case. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.