Assisted Vaginal Delivery Complications


Complications from Assisted Vaginal Delivery - Birth Injury LawyersIf your baby needs help during delivery, your doctor may feel the need for you to have an assisted vaginal birth (sometimes also called an operative vaginal birth.)  To “assist” your baby’s delivery, your doctor may opt to use either forceps or a vacuum extractor.

Forceps are sometimes used when the baby is not moving down the birth canal (vagina). They can also be used to hurry delivery when the mother or baby is in distress during labor.
Vacuum extraction uses a cup-shaped extractor to apply a gentle suction to the top of the baby’s head. This holds the baby in place. The vacuum extractor can be used to assist the mother while she is pushing during contractions. Image: HealthWise.

Both vacuum-assisted vaginal deliveries and forceps delivery can cause tears and minor injuries, but when used properly can help safely speed up the delivery process where further delays could cause injury or harm to the mother and/or her baby.  It is important, however, to remember that even when properly used there are risks of complications and the benefits of an assisted birth should outweigh the risk of delaying delivery.

Your healthcare provider should discuss the risks of all procedures he/she recommends, including an assisted vaginal delivery or to proceed with a Cesarean section (C-section.)

These procedures should be performed by a doctor or healthcare provider who has knowledge and experience in assisted births as when improperly used, both the forceps and vacuum extraction procedures pose serious health risks to the mother and her baby.

Statistics indicated that a forceps delivery is more likely than a vacuum delivery to damage the mother’s vagina, perineum, or rectum, but forceps are less likely to affect the baby than a vacuum-assisted delivery.

After a vacuum-assisted delivery, there will most likely be some bruising or swelling on the baby’s scalp (cephalohematoma) where the extraction cup was applied. But this usually goes away in the days after delivery. In very rare cases, a baby delivered with forceps or vacuum extraction has bleeding inside the skull (intracranial hemorrhage).


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If Your Child Suffered a Birth Injury, Here’s Why You Need an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Infant Brain Injury LawyerBirth injury cases are tremendously complicated because they are fought very vigorously by the defense, but they also require a multitude of medical disciplines from neonatology to pediatric neurology, to neuroradiology, so there are almost a dozen experts you’ll need in a birth injury case — all of whom medical malpractice attorney, Thomas Donahue, has extensive experience in handling.



At Donahue & Horrow, we understand that this is a very emotional, oftentimes tragic situation, for the clients and their families and so we believe it’s important not just to get the best results, but also to work through the case with our clients to alleviate the pressure and stress and anxiety of not just a tragedy, but the lawsuit and hold their hands all the way through the process of the lawsuit.