Birth Injury Lawyer Alleges Misuse of Vacuum Extraction

Whitney Taylor | October 25th, 2012 | Posted in Recent Settlements

In a recent brain damage lawsuit filed in California, the birth injury lawyer alleges inappropriate use of vacuum extraction led to serious injuries in the newborn. According to the complaint, those injuries that were inflicted during delivery have created a lifetime of damage that will likely require the child to receive special care for life.

Birth Injury Lawyer Outlines Delivery Room Missteps

The recent brain damage lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, on September 21, 2012. Both parents of the infant are included on the complaint, which also lists the United States of America as the defendant, since the newborn was born at a U.S. Army hospital in California. The complaint alleges that a series of missteps by hospital staff throughout the labor and delivery process led to the injuries incurred by the plaintiffs’ newborn child.

The birth injury lawyer carefully lays out steps in the complaint that led up to the injuries. The mother was admitted to the Army hospital on January 4, 2010, with symptoms of spontaneous labor. Although labor progressed normally for a number of hours, when the plaintiff began pushing, the fetal heart rate showed a “persistent non-reassuring pattern” while delivery failed to progress. The physician overseeing the labor and delivery noted the lack of progression and determined a Cesarean delivery was in the best interest of the mother and child.

At the time the mother was taken to the operating room, monitoring of the fetal heart rate stopped. Vacuum extraction was used on the parietal lobe to elevate the head through the abdominal wall, according to physician notes at the time of delivery. However, the vacuum extraction allegedly caused severe injury to the brain, including a suspected subgaleal brain hemorrhage. This injury has resulted in a seizure disorder, cerebral palsy and developmental delays with cognitive dysfunction, according to the brain damage lawsuit.

Long-Term Consequences of Injury

A subgaleal hemorrhage, bleeding between the brain and scalp, is a noted risk with vacuum extraction. When used properly, this technique can effectively deliver a baby suffering fetal distress, thus saving the baby’s life. When used improperly, the injuries incurred by the vacuum extraction can result in long-term effects the child and parents must cope with for a lifetime. In addition to hemorrhaging, this technique can result in scalp injuries, cerebral palsy and developmental delays. The infant in this brain damage lawsuit suffered fetal distress and similar injuries after birth, although there were no indications of congenital defects prior to delivery. In fact, all physicians involved in this case noted “birth trauma” as the cause of injury.

The family and their birth injury lawyer in this complaint are seeking a settlement of $50 million to compensate for pain and suffering, ongoing mental anguish and a lifetime of special care. Birth injury creates long-term suffering for the entire family. If you suspect your child was injured as a result of malpractice or negligence in the delivery room, contact the experienced team of Balkin and Eisbrouch for a free evaluation of your case.