Vacuum Extractor Birth Injuries: Oregon Medical Malpractice

medical malpractice lawyers Bend OR

Understanding Medical Malpractice Causing Vacuum Extractor Birth Injuries in Oregon

Mothers and fathers anxiously await the birth of their child during the labor and delivery process. While some labor and deliveries go quite smoothly and do not require any interventions, there are times when a mother may have difficulty delivering the baby from the birth canal. When this happens, physicians may choose to use extraction tools such as forceps or a vacuum extractor. While many babies are delivered with the use of a vacuum extractor without incident, there are times when a physician may inappropriately use the vacuum extractor, leading to birth injuries. When birth injuries occur due to the inappropriate use of a vacuum extractor, this is considered to be negligence. A doctor, hospital, or medical group could be liable for vacuum extractor birth injuries in Oregon.

What is a Vacuum Extractor?

A vacuum extractor is a tool that is as mentioned above, used to help in the delivery of a baby who is not coming out of the birth canal naturally. The vacuum extractor has a suction cup attached to a handle. It is used to suction onto the baby’s head, allowing the physician to pull with the handle of the vacuum extractor. The use of a vacuum extractor or other delivery tool is not uncommon. 

When is the use of a Vacuum Extractor Indicated?

While the use of a vacuum extractor may be necessary, they do increase the risk of injury to a baby. Thus, this tool should only be used when absolutely necessary. The use of a vacuum extractor is indicated with any of the following:

  • If the labor is not progressing – Prolonged labor in the 2nd phase (active phase) 
  • If the baby appears to be distressed (fetal distress) – The baby’s heart rate may be abnormal, contraction pattern may be abnormal
  • Maternal exhaustion – if the mother is unable to continue pushing due to exhaustion
  • If mother’s have health conditions that do not make a normal length of labor safe (i.e maternal heart conditions)

Complications of Vacuum Extraction Birth Injuries

Complications of vacuum extraction may include the following:

  • Cephalohematoma – Pooling of blood around the baby’s head
  • Hydrocephalus – Over accumulation of CSF in the baby’s brain that can result in permanent brain damage
  • Episiotomy – incision in the perineum made to allow a wider opening for the baby to exit the birth canal
  • Subgaleal hematoma – very serious head injury caused by use of vacuum extractor. Rupture of the veins around the skull cause internal pressure and swelling

How Can Complications from the use of a Vacuum Extractor be Due to Medical Malpractice?

While not all complications are due to medical malpractice, quite often birth injuries from the use of a vacuum extractor could have been preventable. Examples of medical malpractice related injuries include the following:

  • Incorrect placement of the suction cup on the baby’s head 
  • There is too much twisting of the head and neck while using the vacuum extractor
  • There is too much excessive force used or excessive force in the wrong direction
  • The wrong vacuum cup size is chosen for the baby’s head
  • A vacuum extractor is used when a c-section should be performed
  • Use of the vacuum extractor for a prolonged period of time.

Learn How Our Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You in Oregon

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.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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