Newton parents who are expecting a child will feel the natural excitement of the next phase in their lives. They won’t be thinking of potential complications that might arise. Unfortunately, there are frequently problems that might make medical intervention a necessity during birth. One particular instance when this is in evidence is when there is the need to use a vacuum extractor. When vacuum extraction is necessary, there is the possibility of an extractor injury. It’s important for parents to know the risks involved with this process and how to recognize if there was an injury after the extractor was used.

A common issue with vacuum extraction is superficial markings on the baby’s scalp. The abrasions happen if the suction cup is repeatedly attached and detached to the newborn. They generally heal quickly. Blood might collect under the infant’s skin. This is known as hematoma. One type of hematoma is known as Cephalohematoma and it is when there is bleeding under the covering of the skull bone. That happens in approximately six percent of babies who are vacuum extracted. The other kind is called subgaleal hematoma. This is when blood is accumulating beneath the scalp. This is dangerous and happens in around one percent of the extraction deliveries.

A baby delivered with a vacuum extractor might have neonatal jaundice. Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin. If the baby has jaundice, there might be the need for treatment with phototherapy. If the issue is severe, the baby might need blood transfusions. Bleeding around the brain of the baby is called intracranial hemorrhage. The baby might be disabled if this occurs.

Finally, a retinal hemorrhage can be a side effect. This is when there is a small amount of bleeding in the back of the baby’s eyes. This is not considered to be serious and happens with both normal deliveries and vacuum extraction deliveries.

Even though many of the problems listed are treatable and not considered serious, there is still the risk of long-term problems after an extractor injury. Parents will have to face extensive costs due to having to care for a child with disabilities or injuries. If there is a belief that the medical staff made an error during the birth, it’s possible to seek compensation for injuries by filing a birth injury case with assistance from a qualified legal professional.

Source: Healthline, “Risks Associated with Vacuum-assisted Delivery,” Mar. 15, 2012