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New York Vacuum Extraction Injury

A vacuum extraction is a procedure used during a vaginal birth to aid in the pulling the baby through the birth canal. A vacuum extraction tool is made of a cup with a handle and a vacuum pump. The cup is applied to the baby’s head to help guide the baby through the birth canal. Typically, vacuum extraction is only used during the second stage of labor when the baby is not progressing. While vacuum extraction can be an effective way to deliver a baby, there are risks to both the mother and the baby, particularly if the vacuum extraction tool is not used properly. If you believe that your baby was seriously injured because of mistakes made during your vacuum extraction delivery, it is important that you immediately contact a New York vacuum extraction injury lawyer who has the knowledge and resources to investigate your case and advocate for your legal rights.

Indicators and contraindicators for vacuum extraction

Typically, vacuum extraction is an option that doctors turn to when labor is not progressing. For example, if you have pushed for 1-3 hours and labor is not progressing, then the doctor will consider options such as vacuum extraction, using forceps, or delivery via c-section. Or if you have certain health issues that may indicate that you should limit pushing, the doctor may use vacuum extraction. In addition, if the baby is in distress and delivery is not progressing quickly enough, the doctor may conclude that immediate delivery is necessary using vacuum extraction.

There are certain situations in which vacuum extraction should not be used. If the doctor chooses to use vacuum extraction under these conditions, the baby would be put at greater risk for a birth injury.

  • Baby had fetal scalp sampling
  • Baby is less than 34 weeks
  • Baby’s head has not moved past the midpoint of the birth canal
  • Baby had osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Baby has hemophilia or another bleeding disorder
  • Baby is large- over 9 pounds
  • Position of the baby’s head is unknown
  • Baby is in breech position

Your doctor may be considered negligence if she (or he) decided to use vacuum extraction despite the presences of these risk factors and as a result your baby suffered a serious injury.

Complications related to vacuum extraction

Vacuum extraction delivery can be risky for both the mother and the baby. Potential complications for the mother include:

  • Tears and wounds in the lower genital tract
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Bladder and bowel incontinence
  • Anemia
  • Pelvic organic organ prolapse

There can also be complications for the baby, including:

  • Skull fracture
  • Bleeding within the skull
  • Brain damage
  • Shoulder, arm and hand injuries

While most of these risks are present event without the use of vacuum extraction, the risk increases with the use of vacuum extraction.

Pursuing compensation

It is not unusual for there to be complications and unexpected developments. It is up to the doctor to make good decisions as to how to proceed in order to ensure the health of the baby and mother. The use of vacuum extraction presents risks. Oftentimes the risks can be avoided by performing a c-section. In addition, even if the choice to use vacuum extraction was sound, the doctor must perform the extraction with skill in order to avoid harming the baby.

As a New York vacuum extraction injury lawyer will explain, if you or your child was injured because of your doctor’s negligence in performing a vacuum extraction delivery, you have the right to file a claim against the doctor and demand compensation for your medical bills, your baby’s medical bills, and other related losses.


Amber was in labor with her first baby. After pushing for about an hour, the baby was not progressing through the birth canal. Even through protocol dictates that with a first delivery, 3 3-4 hours should pass without progress before the delivery is considered prolonged, the doctor decided to use vacuum extraction. After the baby was born, she was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage, cerebral palsy, and had seizures. With the help of a vacuum extraction injury attorney in New York, Amber filed a claim against her doctor based on negligence.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The use of vacuum extraction is risky and generally should only be used when the labor is not progressing and a c-section is not an option. If you believe that your doctor was negligent in performing your vacuum extraction delivery and as a result you or your baby was injured, you have the right to demand compensation. The vacuum extraction injury attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully representing victims injured by the negligent actions of medical professionals. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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