What are the risks of a vacuum-assisted delivery?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2017 | Birth Injuries

There comes a point during labor that some women think they can’t do it any longer. The pain, effort and exhaustion might catch up with the mother, making her feel ready to just give up.

At this point, some doctors may opt to use vacuum assistance to help the woman deliver the baby. This choice might also be made if the baby doesn’t seem to be delivering appropriately.

Why is it important to know the risks?

Some women might not know the risks of vacuum-assisted deliveries. It is imperative that women who are facing labor and delivery know these risks so that they can weigh them against the benefits.

What is a retinal hemorrhage?

One of the risks to the baby is a retinal hemorrhage, which is bleeding behind the eye. This condition is associated with many newborns after birth. It usually doesn’t cause any problems and is likely to go away on its own over time.

What are scalp wounds?

Scalp wounds are the cuts and bruises on the newborn’s head from the vacuum pressure of the cup that is placed on the baby’s head. In most cases, these wounds don’t cause any lasting effects and don’t require any additional care.

What are hematomas?

Hematomas are collections of blood beneath the skin. The location and severity of the hematoma are considered when determining what type of treatment is needed. Minor hematomas might not require any care, but more serious ones could require aggressive treatment.

What is jaundice?

Some vacuum-assisted deliveries can lead to jaundice. This can happen if the vacuum leaves a bruise because the bruise will increases the production of red blood cells. As these red blood cells break down, they release bilirubin. If the baby’s liver isn’t functioning fully yet, it can’t filter out the bilirubin, which can lead to jaundice.

If your baby is injured by a vacuum-assisted delivery, you might opt to seek compensation. Understanding the finer points of these deliveries might help you decide what you are going to do.

Source: Healthline, “Vacuum-Assisted Delivery: Do You Know the Risks?,” accessed Jan. 13, 2017


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