Birth Injuries from Assisted Delivery Tools

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While many women are able to deliver without additional assistance, some women require assistance in the delivery of their baby. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including insufficient contractions, insufficient pushing, the baby is large and is having difficulty coming out of the birth canal, the baby is trapped in the birth canal, as well as many other reasons. Two commonly used tools in deliveries to assist with these issues include a vacuum extractor and forceps. While the use of these tools is sometimes necessary, they also create additional risks for the baby. If these tools are used improperly, serious injury can occur. When these tools are used improperly it can lead to birth injuries from assisted delivery tools which can be medical malpractice in Oregon or Minnesota.


Assisted Delivery Tools


As mentioned above, the most commonly used delivery tools include the vacuum extractor and forceps. 


  • Vacuum Extractor – A vacuum extractor is a soft suction cup that is placed on the baby’s head with is connected to a pump that provides the suction. This tool is used to help with delivering the baby out of the birth canal. The use of a vacuum extractor carries significant risks so should only be used when it is absolutely necessary. 


Injuries From Vacuum Extractors:


Injuries from vacuum extractors include the following:


  • Brachial plexus injuries, including ruptures, avulsions, neuromas, neuropraxia
  • Skull fractures
  • Brain injury
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Many other serious injuries


  • Forceps – The use of forceps is another common tool used when there is difficulty with delivering the baby. These forceps look like a pair of connected metal spoons that curve to conform to the baby’s head. While the use of forceps is sometimes necessary, it does carry great risk for harm to the infant, so should only be used when absolutely necessary. 


Injuries From Forceps


While many babies are born with the assistance of forceps and do not sustain and injuries, there are some babies that are not as fortunate. Injuries from forceps may include the following:


  • Hematomas
  • Intracranial Hemorrhage 
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Bruising
  • Episiotomies
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage


Delivery Assistive Device Medical Malpractice


While as mentioned above, there are some instances when assistive device  tools are necessary, there are times when they are not needed, or are not indicated due to a number of factors. This can result in birth injuries from assisted delivery tools.  Examples of improper use of these tools leading to injury to the mother or baby include the following:


  • Use of assistive device tools in the setting of cephalopelvic disproportion
  • Incorrect type of forceps used, leading to injury
  • Incorrect position of vacuum extractor cup, leading to injury
  • Too much pressure or suction is applied to the baby’s head, leading to injury
  • Use of forceps when the baby’s head is not low enough to safely deliver
  • Inappropriate placement of forceps, leading to injury
  • Use of both the forceps and vacuum extractor – only one or the other is allowed. Once forceps have been tried or the vacuum extractor has been tried, the physician cannot then use the other tool
  • Any significant injuries sustained from the use of these tools. Infants should never sustain significant injuries from the use of these devices


Ask for Help After Birth Injuries From Assisted Delivery Tools


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

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