Vacuum Extraction

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Experienced Birth Injury Attorneys Handling South Carolina Vacuum Extraction Injury Claims


Diligently seeking compensation for injured babies and their families in Anderson, Rock Hill, Columbia, Sumter, and Georgetown

Medical professionals work hard to ease the pain of labor and delivery while minimizing the risk of harm to the mother and fetus. From the C-section to the administration of Pitocin, modern medicine is filled with delivery enabling tools and medications. However, when a physician chooses to use a risky technique over one that is considered safer for the infant, there may be liability issues if an injury results. One such risky exposure is called “vacuum extraction,” and may lead to serious injury if not done properly.

When the actions of a medical professional result in a birth injury, the experienced South Carolina birth injury attorneys of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, are prepared to help you. We fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible for injuries to you and your baby.

Free Case Evaluation

Call 803-327-7800 now or fill out the form above to schedule your free case evaluation.

When may a doctor use vacuum extraction?


When an obstetrician decides that an infant needs assistance during delivery, he or she may choose to use a vacuum extraction technique. This process takes place during a vaginal delivery, using a soft cup that is attached to a vacuum pump. The doctor applies the cup to the top of the baby’s head and the vacuum pressure is meant to gently pull the infant through the birth canal. Numerous circumstances lead to the use of vacuum extraction, including:

  • A weak or slow fetal heartbeat. The baby’s heartbeat should be monitored throughout the labor phase. It the monitor indicates that the heartbeat is weakening or slowing, the baby is likely in distress and a vacuum extraction may be used to facilitate a quick delivery.
  • The mother’s medical condition. The mother may suffer from health issues that would keep her from pushing for an extended period. In this situation, a vacuum extraction is commonly used to speed up the delivery process and prevent the mother from overexerting herself.
  • The position of the baby. If the baby’s body is in the posterior position, the doctor may use vacuum extraction to move the baby into the correct position for delivery.

Because most of these scenarios can be resolved through a C-section, it is up to the doctor to make the call to use vacuum extraction. This is a risky procedure that can lead to many issues, and negligent doctors need to be held responsible for the consequences of misusing vacuum extraction and harming a baby.

Understanding vacuum extraction


Vacuum extraction is widely used in hospitals throughout South Carolina, but its usage does raise questions about the risk of injury to the infant. According to medical experts, vacuum extraction should not be utilized when the following circumstances exist:

  • The pregnancy is not passed 34 weeks of gestation.
  • Fetal scalp sampling was done on the baby’s head.
  • The baby has a bleeding disorder or bone weakness.
  • The baby’s head has not yet progressed midway through the birth canal.
  • The physician cannot accurately assess where the baby’s head is positioned
  • The baby is moving through the birth canal with his or her arms and shoulders first.

When a physician does make the decision to use vacuum extraction, risk to the infant can prove substantial and potentially life threatening. If the physician places the vacuum on the head improperly, the force of the suction can cause significant damage to the head of the infant, including:

  • Scalp injuries, such as bruising, scratches, or cuts
  • Shoulders becoming stuck, leading to nerve damage and leaving the baby with brachial palsy or a fractured collar bone
  • Skull fractures
  • Broken blood vessels and internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injury that may lead to seizures, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy

An experienced South Carolina vacuum extraction injury lawyer reviews medical documentation and solicits the assistance of medical professionals to determine whether or not the delivering physician acted in a negligent manner.

Secure the services of a law firm that is dedicated to your family’s well-being

If your doctor negligently uses vacuum extraction during your delivery, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. The skilled South Carolina birth injury attorneys of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, confidently litigate the most challenging of cases. Call 803-327-7800 or fill out the contact form to make an appointment for a free case evaluation. We have offices conveniently located in Rock Hill, Anderson, Sumter, Georgetown, and Columbia.