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Possible Birth Injuries As A Result Of Forceps And Vacuum Extraction

Birth injuries are something we never want to think about, but it is good to be informed of the possibilities.

Sometimes, it Is necessary for more assistance to be used when delivering a baby. The two common methods used to do this are either a forceps extraction or a vacuum extraction. A newborn baby has a very soft skull since their bones have yet to completely fuse together. This makes it especially risky to use these methods because they require contact with the baby’s head. Here are some of the possible birth injuries that can result from a forceps or vacuum extraction.


This is the most common type of birth injury that occurs with the use of forceps. They can cause bruising or abrasions on the baby’s scalp from the pressure they’re putting on it. Often times, the bruising will go away, but sometimes it can cause permanent disfigurement. Indentations can also appear on the side of the baby’s head because of this.
With vacuum extraction, the same injuries are possible. The cup used to pull the baby out must be attached to the baby’s scalp. Doctors must closely monitor pressure and suction levels to assure that they don’t get too high. If those levels aren’t monitored well enough, it could lead to disfigurement of the baby’s scalp. This method could also cause damage to the mother’s body if they are not careful.

Shoulder Dystocia

A rushed delivery that requires forceps can result in a more serious birth injury known as shoulder dystocia. This is when the nerves in the shoulders are damaged due to the pressure of the forceps, resulting in limited mobility of paralysis of the arm and hand. Mild cases will sometimes heal themselves, but more serious cases could potentially require surgery.


Associated more with vacuum extraction, a hemorrhage is a bleed that results from a ruptured blood vessel. The worry when delivering a baby using vacuum extraction is a hemorrhage between the scalp and the skull. This birth injury might be one of the scariest because the bleed occurs very fast and must be treated immediately. If it is not addressed quickly, the hemorrhage could result in seizures, anemia, shock, or even death.

Retinal Injuries

This is also a birth injury that is only possible with a vacuum extraction. The pressure and stress can result in injuries to the eyes and range from mild to severe. In mild cases, your baby could have a red ring around their eye or some visible blood present in the eye. In this case, it should clear up without any treatment necessary. For more serious cases, however, your child could suffer from permanent vision damage.

If Your Child Has Suffered A Birth Injury As A Result Of Medical Malpractice, Call The Snyder Law Group Today

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website,, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn.

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 16th, 2018 at 6:32 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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