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Can Vacuum Delivery Cause Brain Damage

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Prognosis For Caput Succedaneum

Vaccuum Extraction Delivery and Birth Injury

In most cases, the prognosis for caput succedaneum is good. If there is minimal or no bruising and no signs of jaundice or infection, the baby will likely have no long-term medical issues. However, if the baby develops complications like jaundice, the prognosis may change due to the impact of those medical conditions. For example, if the baby develops jaundice thats treated immediately, there are usually no long-term problems associated with caput succedaneum. As the babys scalp begins to heal within a few days, the head will return to its normal size and shape.; However, as previously mentioned, untreated jaundice can lead to several long-term complications, including Kernicterus, a form of brain damage.

Kernicterus or brain damage can cause long-term or lifelong medical conditions that can definitely affect your childs prognosis. Some of the possible outcomes of brain damage are:

  • Athetoid cerebral palsy
  • Poor tooth enamel development
  • Permanent upward gaze

Conditions like cerebral palsy are lifelong disorders that will certainly affect your childs treatment and overall medical care. Any birth injury can be devastating for your family, but its important to know that you arent alone.

Injuries To The Skin And Soft Tissues

The newborns skin may have minor injuries after delivery, especially areas that receive pressure during contractions or that first emerge from the birth canal during delivery. Instruments needed for delivery, such as forceps, can injure the skin. Swelling and bruising may occur around the eyes and on the face during face-first deliveries and on the genitals after breech deliveries . No treatment for these bruises is needed.

Use of instruments during delivery and stress on the newborn can injure the fat under the skin . This skin injury can look like red, firm, raised areas on the trunk, arms, thighs, or buttocks. This type of injury usually resolves on its own over weeks to months.

Head And Brain Injuries During Birth

Head injury is the most common birth-related injury.

Head molding is not an injury. Molding refers to the normal change in shape of the baby’s head that results from pressure on the head during delivery. In most births, the head is the first part to enter the birth canal. Because a fetus’s skull bones are not rigidly fixed in position, the head elongates as it is pushed through the birth canal, which allows the fetus to pass through more easily. Molding does not affect the brain and does not cause problems or require treatment. The head shape gradually becomes more rounded over several days.

Swelling and bruising of the scalp is common but not serious and generally resolves within a few days.

Scalp scratches can occur when instruments are used during a vaginal delivery.

Bleeding outside of the skull bones can lead to an accumulation of blood either above or below the thick fibrous covering of one of the skull bones.

A cephalhematoma is blood accumulation below the periosteum. Cephalohematomas feel soft and can increase in size after birth. Cephalohematomas disappear on their own over weeks to months and almost never require any treatment. However, they should be evaluated by the pediatrician if they become red or start to drain liquid. Sometimes some of the blood calcifies and leaves a hard lump in the scalp. The lump is not dangerous, is usually hidden by hair, and requires no treatment.

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Increased Risk Of Jaundice & Kernicterus

In a less-direct way, vacuum extraction increases the risk of jaundice;in newborns. Jaundice, in turn, increases the risk for brain damage.

How Ventouse-Related Bruising Can Lead To Brain Damage

Many children who undergo ventouse will be born with a cephalohematoma. Blood vessels burst between the skull and the periosteum, a thin tissue of membranes surrounding the skull, creating a bump of soft, squishy skin on a childs scalp.

Cephalohematoma is usually nothing to worry about; in most cases, the leaking blood is reabsorbed into the body over a few days or weeks, leaving the babys head smooth. But the blood loss also creates an increased risk for jaundice, one of the most common medical conditions diagnosed in newborn babies.

A Brief Introduction To Jaundice

Jaundice is caused by bilirubin, a chemical pigment, yellow in color, produced as a byproduct when our bodies break down old red blood cells. Babies, though, have immature livers, which cant always filter bilirubin out of the blood efficiently. Instead, the bilirubin builds up, ultimately turning the childs soft tissues a pale shade of yellow or orange.

Like cephalohematoma, jaundice usually goes away of its own accord, but in some cases, the conditions can work together. In a fundamental sense, cephalohematoma is a form of blood loss; the blood has left the circulatory system, coming to occupy a bubble on the babys scalp.

When Are Forceps Used

Forceps, Vacuums, and Other Types of Birth Related ...

If the delivery has met specific criteria, then the doctor may decide to use forceps to deliver the baby. These requirements for a forceps delivery include a ruptured membrane, breeched birth, or dilated cervix. When these criteria are met, and the mother cannot push the baby on her own, then the doctor will use these instruments to help in the delivery. Some other reasons for the use of forceps include:

  • The mother is pushing, but the labor is not progressing.
  • There is a change in the babys heart rate.
  • The baby is low in the birth canal.
  • The mother has a specific health issue, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

For the most part, doctors only use forceps if the hospital or birthing center can conduct a cesarean section. If a forceps delivery is unsuccessful, then a C-section will be performed to prevent any harm to the baby.

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Types Of Birth Injury

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understands that nothing seems nearly as devastating as watching a child suffer throughout his or her lifetime. Because many birth injuries impact childrens development and cognitive abilities, they can impact their quality of living through childhood and into adulthood. Whether your childs injury occurred during pregnancy or while in labor, it is important to determine what role your doctor and attending staff may have played in causing or failing to treat the injury in a timely manner. If your doctor is liable for your childs injuries, our Chicago birth injury attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation needed to care for his or her conditions.

Our Kentucky Birth Injury Lawyers Help The Whole State

Any of these birth injuries can require immediate and ongoing treatments; however, there may ultimately be no cure. Instead, you may focus on helping your child make the maximum medical improvement so he or she can gain as much independence as possible. After an initial stay in the NICU, your child might benefit from programs such as First Steps, Kids Center, special education, and other interventions.

It can be hard to know if your childs injury could have been prevented by the reasonable care of your doctors and nurses. However, if a medical professional such as a nurse or neurologist says that your childs injury has been caused by medical negligence, or if a CT scan or MRI shows that your baby was deprived of oxygen during labor or delivery, then you should find out more about your childs rights and how to protect them.

You deserve to find out more about your next steps and about how to protect your child. We wrote the book,;Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury to Your Child Happens in Kentucky, and we provide every family with the individual attention they deserve. Our experienced lawyers live in your community, but have a statewide;and nationwide;reputation for excellence.

To learn more, please contact the experienced birth injury Lawyers at Gray and White Law at;888-450-4456. We will discuss your case with you for free so that you can make an informed decision about what to do next.

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Risks Of A Vacuum Extraction

There are definitely certain risks to performing a vacuum extraction. Some of these risks are as follows:

  • The mother is less than 34 weeks pregnant.
  • The baby has a condition that affects the strength of his or her bones or has a bleeding disorder.
  • The babys head has not yet moved past the midpoint of the birth canal.
  • The position of the babys head is unknown.
  • The babys shoulders, arms, buttocks or feet are leading the way through the birth canal. This might mean that the baby is in the breech position as opposed to head-first .
  • The child is not able to fit through the mothers pelvis because of his or her size or because of the size of the mothers pelvis.

Severity Of Acidosis And Brain Damage

Vacuum delivery caused hypoxic brain injury || 1 month after Naadi Yoga treatment

In 2010, authors of an important review paper concluded that low arterial pH in umbilical cord blood was strongly associated with long-term adverse outcomes. These outcomes included hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy , periventricular leukomalacia , intraventricular hemorrhages, cerebral palsy , and death.

What was unclear, at that point, was what pH constituted clinically significant acidemia. A 2012 study of singleton, term neonates found the ideal cord arterial pH to be 7.26 7.30 for all outcomes. The risk for adverse neurological outcomes starts to rise below a pH of 7.10, with the risk being highest below a pH of 7.0. Another key finding of this study is that most neonates with adverse outcomes, even that of seizures in the first 24 hours, are not born acidemic. In addition, the authors concluded that it appears that the lowest risk of any adverse outcome occurs at 7.26 7.30, rather than the higher the better, for there may be a higher risk at higher pH levels.

Moreover, Yeh et al. noted the following :

  • Many babies with birth asphyxia often have a normal pH.
  • In some cases, neonates with low Apgar scores who are acidemic may do better in the long term than those who are not.
  • Catastrophic intrapartum events can occur without acidemia.

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History Of Childbirth Physical Trauma

For over a quarter of a millennia, doctors have recognized that physical or mechanical trauma at birth can endanger the fetus and damage or destroy fetal tissues. Prior to the Revolutionary War, one of the fathers of obstetrics, a Scottish doctor named William Smellie, had this to say: “In lingering labor, when the head of the child has been in the pelvis so that the bones ride over one another and the shape is prenaturally lengthened, the brain is frequently so much compressed that violent convulsions ensue before or soon after delivery to the danger and oft times the destruction of the child.”

What Is Vacuum Extraction

A vacuum extraction, also known as ventouse, is a procedure performed to assist a complicated or prolonged delivery that threatens the safety of the baby or mother. Delivery assistance using a vacuum extractor or forceps occurs in about 5% of births.

The vacuum extraction device includes a soft cup that is firmly attached to the babys head and a vacuum pump for creating suction. Typically, the mother will push while the doctor guides and pulls the baby through the birth canal during a vaginal delivery. The doctor will remove the cup once the babys head is visible.

Vacuum extractions are only recommended during the second stage of labor when the cervix has fully dilated and the baby has descended headfirst into the birth canal.

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Are Vacuum Extraction Injuries Preventable

Vacuum extraction injuries are preventable. Sometimes a mother can request that a doctor uses forceps instead of a vacuum extractor, and other times during delivery, the mother can ask the doctor what station the baby is at before she approves the use of a vacuum extractor.

If the parents find out after the fact that the baby has a birth injury due to vacuum extraction, there are ways to treat the injury, though long-term recovery is slow. Sadly, some children may not make a full recovery at all. Ultimately, it depends on how severe the injuries are.

Are Forceps Still Used In Birth

Can Vacuum Delivery Cause Brain Damage? Forceps Delivery Risks

Yes, although their use is declining. More and more obstetricians are turning to vacuum extractors, or relying solely on cesarean deliveries, to handle difficult phases of childbirth.

As weve seen, the risks involved in a forceps-assisted delivery can be quite significant. But there are still circumstances, according to researchers in the British Medical Journal, in which forceps may be the safer option.

When Are Forceps Used?

Babies who present face-first, for example, usually cant be delivered through vacuum assistance, since you wouldnt want to put a suction cup right on a newborn childs face. Likewise, obstetricians normally discourage using a vacuum to deliver a premature infant, because preemies are at an increased risk for intracranial hemorrhage .

Moreover, successful vacuum extraction requires maternal participation; a mother must push as the obstetrician pulls for this method of delivery to work. Mothers who are, or become, unable to push during delivery usually cant undergo vacuum extraction, so forceps become the only choice.

There also situations in which forceps can help in the completion of a cesarean section.

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How Forceps & Vacuum Extractor Injuries Occur

If you or your child has suffered injuries from forceps and vacuum extractions or other medical equipment,the lawyers at Garau Germano, P.C. may be able to help you. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience in pursuing medical malpractice claims arising from operative deliveries. We can thoroughly investigate your claim and will aggressively pursue it if you or your child’sbirth injury was caused by medical negligence.

Malpractice claims from the use of forceps or vacuum extractors may arise because of the physician’sfailure to obtain his patient’s informed consent to the procedure. The doctor has an obligation to advise his patient of the risks of and alternatives to vacuum or forceps delivery. Those alternatives may include delivery by cesarean section or vaginal delivery. If the mother is not properly apprised of the risks of delivery by forceps or vacuum extraction, she cannot give her informed consent for the procedure.

Malpractice claims in operative deliveries may also arise because the operative delivery was not indicated. Delivery by forceps or vacuum extraction is only appropriate under certain circumstances. Indications for operative delivery include maternal exhaustion, fetal distress, and a prolonged second stage of labor . Operative deliveries are not appropriate simply as a means to speed a delivery along.

What Are Intracranial Hemorrhages

Intracranial hemorrhaging, or bleeding within the brain, can occur as a result of pressure asserted on a babys head during labor and delivery. There are number of different types of hemorrhages that can develop, such as:

  • Subaponeurotic hemorrhages Although generally rare, this condition occurs when pressure is asserted on the head in such a way as to cause blood vessels to break and cause bleeding in the aponeurosis of the skull ;
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhages These occur below the innermost membrane that cover the brain and are the most common of all intracranial hemorrhages. This type of hemorrhaging can put excessive pressure on the surface of the brain and may lead to seizures and high levels of bilirubin in the blood should a child not be treated immediately;
  • Subdural hemorrhages This results from tearing of the faix cerebri, tentorium or bridging veins within the skill. These can occur during a difficult delivery due to pressure asserted on the intracranial vessels;
  • Intraventricular hemorrhages This can occur in the fluid filled spaces of the brain, known as the ventricles. This type of hemorrhage typically affects premature babies whose brains are not fully developed;
  • Intraparenchymal hemorrhages This refers to bleeding that occurs in the brain tissue itself, and like intraventricular hemorrhages, typically affect prematurely born children.

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When Should Doctors Not Use Vacuum Extraction

Although vacuum delivery can be a helpful option for prolonged or difficult vaginal birth, there are vacuum-assisted delivery guidelines that outline when not to use vacuum delivery in certain situations.

Doctors should not consider vacuum delivery if:

  • The mother is less than 34 weeks pregnant
  • The baby has been diagnosed with a bone or bleeding disorder
  • The babys head has not moved past the middle of the birth canal
  • The baby cannot fit through the pelvis due to the childs size or size of pelvis
  • The babys arms, buttocks, feet, or shoulders are leading the way through the birth canal

Doctors that use vacuum delivery during high-risk situations like those above can cause serious complications for both the mother and child. You may be able to take legal action against medical professionals that perform improper assisted vacuum deliveries.

  • Skull fractures
  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of body

Both the mother and child can make a full recovery depending on symptom severity and prompt treatment. It is important to consult a doctor or specialist to treat any injuries sustained from a vacuum delivery.

Michigan Birth Injury Attorneys Serving Clients Across The Us

Improvements after 2nd month || Vacuum delivery caused hypoxic brain injury

Umbilical cord blood gas tests can be very important in diagnosing birth injuries such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy , a form of neonatal brain damage that can occur when the babys brain does not receive enough oxygenated blood.

At ABC Law Centers , we aim not only to provide unparalleled legal services to our clients, but to make complex information on birth injury easier to access. Throughout this page, well discuss fetal circulation, oxygen deprivation/birth asphyxia, neonatal brain damage, and the role of umbilical cord blood gas tests in birth injury diagnoses and litigation. Should you have any legal questions or case inquiries as you read through this page, please contact our team for a free consultation in whichever way best suits your needs:

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