When Is A Vacuum Extraction Delivery Subject To A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Accepted medical standards are the touchstone for determining whether medical errors were preventable and constitute medical malpractice. The same is true for the use of a vacuum extractor during delivery. When vacuum extractor injuries occur in Manhattan — and a vacuum extraction delivery (VAD) was performed but violated standard medical practices — medical malpractice grounds for a lawsuit may exist.

Various studies exist on VAD worldwide, and a 2006 medical review entitled Reducing the Risks of a Vacuum Delivery advised that doctors should avoid VAD in the following clinical situations:

  • Baby's head is too large to pass through the mother's pelvis
  • Brow, face or breech presentations
  • Gestational periods of 34 weeks
  • Baby's head not crowned during labor
  • Compromised, depressed fetus requiring a c-section
  • Reduction of mother's ability to push
  • Cervix not fully dilated

The article also indicated that many doctors were not skilled enough to successfully perform VADs. The potential dangers of performing a vacuum extraction delivery with contraindications are that they can result in Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, skull fracture, cephalohematoma, intracranial hemorrhage, clavicle or collar bone fracture,  upper arm fracture and subgaleal (subaponeurotic) hemorrhage (bleeding that occurs between the scalp and the skull). Twenty-five percent of newborn babies with subgaleal hemorrhages die.

Pursuing medical malpractice cases based on vacuum extractor injuries requires expert testimony by medical authorities to prove the physician violated acceptable medical standards.

Through our access to expert witnesses, our resources for investigation and our decades of legal experience, Rich & Rich, P.C. has established a reputation for handling medical malpractice cases. Discuss your concerns in a free consultation. Call 646.736.3999 to schedule an appointment.

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