The use of a vacuum extractor can save an infant’s life when used appropriately. But misuse of these devices can cause severe harm. Doctors who use these devices improperly or when it is unsafe to do so can be liable for resulting birth injuries.
If your child suffered injuries due to medical negligence during birth, you could recover compensation to cover your child’s medical care and other losses. Our New York vacuum extractor injury attorneys can help you hold the liable party accountable.
For more than 50 years, our law firm has represented injury victims and their families throughout New York. In that time, we’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients through personal injury cases, including birth injury claims. You can read about some of the settlements and verdicts we’ve won for previous clients.
Martindale-Hubbell has rated our law firm as “AV,” which is the highest possible rating for attorneys in terms of ethical standards and legal abilities. If you are facing the consequences of a devastating birth injury because of careless medical professionals, we can help.
We Follow a Client-Friendly Fee Structure
When you hire Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, your initial consultation is always free and confidential, and there is no obligation or risk to you. We also take birth injury cases on a contingency basis, which means our firm receives no fees unless we deliver compensation for your injuries. We want you to focus on your child and your family without any worries about finances or legal bills to pay up front.
Vacuum extractors are medical devices doctors use while delivering babies in some cases. They can help speed up the delivery process when labor isn’t progressing or other complications arise, increasing the risk of injury. For example, some common instances in which doctors might use vacuum extractors include:
- The child is experiencing distress during birth.
- The child has an irregular heartbeat.
- The mother has a heart condition.
- The mother has become too physically exhausted to push.
When using these devices, doctors must properly position a cap-like tool on the head of the child. The device then uses suction to extract the child from the birth canal.
It’s important to note that vacuum extractors are not the only options doctors have in many cases. For instance, the medical team may successfully reposition the baby before or during delivery or perform an emergency C-section instead. Some situations even make vacuum extraction a less-safe option, increasing the risk of injury further.
Doctors receive training on the proper usage of vacuum extractors, both in terms of when and how to use them without injuring a child. Some typical instances of misuse include when doctors:
- Improperly attach the cap to the child’s head
- Fail to account for the child’s position in the birth canal
- Use the extractor unsuccessfully for an extended period
- Apply too much suction or pressure using the device
All these examples can result in injuries to the child, some of which may be permanent. If the doctor causes a preventable injury to the child by improperly using a vacuum extractor during delivery, that doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.
When doctors misuse vacuum extractors, they can cause injuries to the mother and child. Some of these injuries are more severe than others and may even be permanent.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
A common injury that can result from improper use of a vacuum extraction tool is a brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves running from the spine to the shoulder area. When these nerves become damaged due to forceful pulling or stretching, it can limit regular function of the shoulder, arm, and hand.
The resulting impairment or effect on the child’s ability to move differs according to the type of brachial plexus injury involved. Some brachial plexus injuries are permanent and irreparable, but some can be treated, either surgically or non-surgically.
Head and Brain Injuries
Various head and brain injuries may result from extended or inappropriate use of vacuum extraction during childbirth. These injuries might include:
- Skull fractures from using too much suction
- Traumatic brain injuries from prolonged lack of oxygen
Secondary injuries and conditions can also occur. For example, traumatic brain injuries can lead to cerebral palsy.
When you hire one of our vacuum extractor injury attorneys, our team examines the medical records regarding your child’s birth and the resulting diagnoses. During our investigation, we look for evidence of inappropriate or wrongful use of a vacuum extractor to support your case.
We strive to give each case the time and attention it deserves while being mindful of the statute of limitations. New York limits the amount of time you have to act on an instance of medical malpractice, though exceptions may apply in the case of a minor. Our team can determine the filing deadline so it does not pass before you have a chance to seek compensation.
Potential Compensation from a Vacuum Extractor Injury Case
You have the right to pursue financial recovery for your child’s birth injuries if a doctor’s negligent usage of a vacuum extractor is to blame. Available forms of compensation may include:
- Current and future medical expenses to treat the injuries to your child
- Pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
- Costs of medications, medical assistive devices, and modifications to homes and vehicles to accommodate any impairments that your child has
- Expenses for ongoing rehabilitation and therapy
Our firm is here to help you seek compensation for these and other damages.
Our New York birth injury attorneys are here to analyze the situation, explain your legal options, and answer your questions. When you hire our firm to represent you, we can determine if improper use of a vacuum extractor played a role in your child’s injuries and identify who is liable for your damages.
Contact the offices of Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP today at (212) 986-7353 for a free case evaluation. Let us hear your story and explain what we can offer you.
WRSMH attorney Philip Russotti obtained a $10 Million mediation settlement for failure to timely perform a Cesarean Section. The case was venued in Orange County, NY.
WRSMH attorney, Phil Russotti, obtained a $6 million settlement for our client whose child suffered severe brain damage during birth.
We claimed that the baby should have been delivered by emergency C-Section or forceps delivery. He was ultimately diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriparesis.
Attorney Philip Russotti argued that as a result of this negligence, the child suffered hypoxia which resulted in mild retardation, severe ADHD and social isolation as well as difficulties with fine motor skills.
WRSMH obtained a $1,300,000 jury verdict, after a three week medical malpractice trial in Staten Island, on behalf of a 6-year-old girl who suffered a brachial plexus injury known as Erb's palsy.
We claimed that the hospital was negligent for not intervening and performing a cesarean section in light of the mother's failure to adequately progress in labor.