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Assisted delivery may be risky

As many New York parents may know, there are times when assistance is needed during childbirth. Instruments, such as a vacuum extractor, are commonly used to help the baby move through the birth canal when a mother needs help during delivery. The vacuum extractor uses suction applied to the top of the baby's head through the use of a small plastic cup.

The vacuum extraction method for assisted delivery is not without risk to both mother and child and has been found to be less successful than other methods, such as forceps, in several studies. In addition, vacuum extraction is limited to deliveries following a gestational period of 34 weeks or later. If this procedure is done on premature babies, it may result in brain hemorrhage.

When labor is delayed, fetal cranial swelling may occur. The use of a vacuum extractor is dependent on placement of the suction cup, and cranial swelling may interfere with that. Since suction cups may dislodge and might only be placed during a contraction, this may cause further delay in the birthing process and might result in harm to the baby.

Parents who believe the use of vacuum extraction assisted delivery resulted in a birth injury to their child may wish to speak to an attorney. If this method was used at an inappropriate time during delivery or was used on a premature infant, the physician may be considered negligent. Likewise, if its use delayed childbirth, this may have resulted in oxygen deprivation and further complications. The parents may face costly medical bills and continued care due to the doctor's negligence. An attorney may review medical records in an effort to determine if negligence occurred and might assist the parents in filing a malpractice suit against the physician.

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