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Vacuum extraction and birth injuries

In an ideal world, every birth would be quick, easy, and painless. But we all know that the real world is far from the ideal one. The reality is that many Texans go through a long, painful, and emotionally difficult birthing process. It is during this time, when mothers and fathers-to-be are tired and mentally fatigued, that they may be asked to make important decisions that have a direct impact on the mother and child's health.

One of these is whether to engage in vacuum extraction. This technique, which utilizes a vacuum pump connected to a cup that fits around the child's head, should only be used in certain situations. Most commonly it is used when the baby has descended into the birth canal, but the mother is unable to push the child out. It is important to note that vacuum extraction should only be tried when C-section can also be performed.

There are health risks associated with this procedure, though. A mother could might suffer additional tearing, incontinence, and muscle and ligament weakening in the pelvis area. The child may be put at risk for suffering a birth injury, too. He or she may suffer wounds to his or her head, including skull fracture, bleeding inside the skull, and scalp wounds. A vacuum extraction may also leave a baby with an increased risk of suffering from brachial plexus and fractures to the collar bone.

Although these injuries can be rare, and we are certainly not advocating against the procedure, vacuum extraction needs to be performed with competence and only after informed consent is obtained from the patient. If either of these aspects are foregone and injuries result, then a medical malpractice claim may be justified. One of these lawsuits could help a family impose liability while at the same time recovering compensation for the damages they have suffered.

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