Attorney Jeffrey Killino is an experienced birth injury lawyer who has handled many medical-malpractice cases involving childbirth injuries to mothers and their babies, including vacuum-assisted-birth injuries. If you or your baby were injured during a vacuum-extraction delivery, contact birth-injury and vacuum-birth injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino at (877) 875-2927 for more information about your legal options.
Experienced Attorneys Who Know Birth Injuries
Attorney Jeffrey Killino understands the complications that can arise during pregnancy as well as the birthing process. In some cases, a woman becomes too exhausted during the labor stage to continue “pushing,” and a vacuum-extraction device may be employed to assist in the delivery of the child. If a vacuum-extraction process is improperly performed, however, injuries to both the baby and mother may occur. If you or your child have sustained such injuries during a difficult delivery, attorney Jeffrey Killino and his outstanding legal team will work with you to hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable for their negligence.
Vacuum extraction involves the placing of a cup-like device (made of plastic or metal) on the head of the infant and pulling the baby from the womb with a sucking or vacuum mechanism. These cups can cause injuries to the baby, however, including bruises or abrasions to the baby’s fragile scalp, jaundice, bleeding of the eyes, nerve damage, and even brain hemorrhaging. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), skull deformities can also result from the use of vacuum-extraction devices during childbirth. In some cases, after such injuries occur as a result of the use of vacuum extraction, medical personnel may cause further complications and injuries to the baby through a misdiagnosis of the initial injuries.
Even when medical protocol is followed, increased risk of injury from vacuum-assisted births can occur for both mother and baby due to
- Suction pressure
- Suction duration
- The age of the fetus
- Stretching and tearing of tissues
Approximately 10% of births are vacuum-assisted. Injury to a baby during a vacuum-assisted birth is most likely to occur due to errors in physician technique. The incidence of birth injuries, especially conditions such as intracranial hemorrhage and retinal hemorrhage are more likely to occur with vacuum births compared to normal vaginal births.
Legal Liability for Vacuum-assisted Birth Injuries
A baby may suffer serious injuries during childbirth when vacuum extraction is used to assist in the baby’s delivery. When these injuries go undetected or are misdiagnosed, further injury may occur. If negligence of medical personnel was involved in any such decisions or conduct, those medical professionals and the hospitals that employ them may be held liable in a medical malpractice action for the child’s resulting injuries. In some cases, injury occurs as a result of a defect in the vacuum device used to assist a delivery. In such cases, liability may attach to the manufacturer through the institution of a product liability action.
Medical Malpractice Liability
· Liability of Medical Personnel
If an obstetrician’s decision to perform a vacuum-assisted delivery is found to constitute negligence due to the particular circumstances involved, the physician may be held liable in a medical malpractice action for any injuries that result to the baby from the use of the device during vaginal delivery, even when the device is properly used. A similar finding may result when a physician negligently fails to order a C-section when indicated and the need for vacuum assistance with the vaginal delivery arises as a result. If, following that decision, injuries occur as a result of the proper use of vacuum extraction, the physician who failed to order a C-section when indicated may be found liable for the child’s resulting injuries. Liability on the part of an obstetrician may also result from the physician’s improper use of a vacuum-extraction device.
· Liability of Hospital
The hospital-employer of medical personnel whose negligence resulted in a baby’s vacuum-extraction injuries may also be held liable for those injuries. The medical professional will be held directly liable for the injuries, while the hospital, as the professional’s employer, will be held vicariously liable. The vicarious liability of the hospital for the negligence of its employees will be parallel to the liability of the employees.
A hospital may also be found directly liable for a baby’s vacuum-extraction injuries. If a hospital failed to properly maintain its vacuum-extraction equipment or failed to adequately train its employees in the use of such equipment, the hospital may be found to have been negligent, and therefore directly liable for the child’s resulting injuries.
In some cases, a baby’s vacuum-extraction injury may result from a defect in the vacuum device, itself. If the defect is determined to have been a cause of a baby’s injuries, the manufacturer and anyone in the chain of the device’s distribution may be found liable in a product-liability action for the baby’s injuries.
If your physician assisted the delivery of your child with a vacuum device and you or your child was injured as a result, attorney Jeffrey Killino and his legal team can help you. Contact birth-injury and vacuum-extraction injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for experienced and dedicated assistance in achieving the justice to which you are entitled.