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What are the risks of a vacuum extraction?

As an expecting mother in Oregon, it’s only natural that you hope for the best when it comes to your child’s health through the entire pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, there are some situations in which a baby cannot be born naturally. In these cases, a vacuum extractor might be used.

Vacuum extraction is a medical term used for the procedure in which a child has a hard or soft cup with a vacuum pump attached to their head during childbirth. Using this tool, doctors can help guide a baby out of the birth canal in time with the mother’s pushing.

While vacuum extraction can be the key to saving a child’s life in situations where you need a quick delivery, Mayo Clinic discusses the potential drawbacks of vacuum extraction in detail, as well. This includes health risks for your baby such as damage to the scalp and skull, collarbone fractures, and bleeding within the skull. Brachial plexus, a condition in which the shoulder, arm or hand don’t function properly because of damaged nerves, is also a possibility.

There are also risks to you, as well. You may experience tears or wounds in the lower genital tracks, anemia, pelvic organ prolapse, and short or long term difficulties with bladder and intestinal function.

If you’re in a situation where immediate delivery is a medical necessity, vacuum extraction may be your safest option. However, you should still be aware of the potential risks. If you or your child suffered from injury during the process of a vacuum extraction, you may want to contact an attorney to determine if medical negligence played a role.