Baltimore personal injury lawyer

What Are the Risks of Using a Vacuum During Delivery of a Newborn in Maryland?

Every parent’s worst nightmare is birth complications. When a child’s injuries are caused by a negligent doctor using an already risky practice, like a vacuum, those fears may be realized. That’s why parents need to learn the dangers associated with using a vacuum during birth and what to do if their children sustain injuries.

Using a vacuum during delivery can pose serious dangers to babies and mothers. Babies can sustain skull fractures, hearing loss, and other serious injuries. When negligent doctors are involved, the risk of life-altering birth injuries like cerebral palsy rises. Suppose a doctor chose to use a vacuum during birth, all while ignoring previous diagnoses or warning signs of increased risks, and your child sustained birth injuries. In that case, you may be able to hold them accountable in a lawsuit in Maryland.

Our attorneys are here to help Maryland parents get justice after a damaging vacuum-assisted delivery. For a free case evaluation with the Baltimore birth injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call today at (410) 694-7291.

Dangers of Using a Vacuum During Delivery at a Maryland Hospital

Vacuum-assisted delivery is a relatively common practice used by Maryland doctors when babies are distressed or present other issues, requiring fast delivery. This practice can cause serious harm to a newborn child, especially when a doctor acts negligently.

That said, the likelihood of such injuries for babies and mothers decreases when responsible Maryland doctors are involved. If your child’s birth injuries are reflected above, and a vacuum was used during birth, reach out to an attorney. An experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer can help you learn your options and hold a negligent hospital or doctor accountable.

Examples of Birth Injuries Caused by Vacuum Deliveries in Maryland

There are several types of birth injuries that can occur as the result of vacuum deliveries in Maryland. If your child fell victim to any of the following, then our Maryland birth injury lawyers can help explore your options for pursuing financial compensation:


During a vacuum-assisted delivery, excessive or improper application of vacuum suction can cause visual impairment by damaging the structures of the eye. For instance, the vacuum’s suction force can cause trauma to the optic nerve, retinas, or other components of the eye, leading to permanent vision loss.

Brain Damage

Improper use of a vacuum during delivery can also result in brain damage. Excessive suction or prolonged application of the vacuum can lead to a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain, potentially causing hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or other forms of brain injury. Brain damage can involve long-lasting cognitive, motor, and sensory impairments.

Cerebral Palsy

Furthermore, negligent use of a vacuum during a child’s delivery can lead to the development of cerebral palsy. Improper placement or excessive force with the vacuum can cause brain trauma, resulting in damage to children’s developing brains. Those who suffer from cerebral palsy may experience motor impairments, muscle stiffness, difficulty with coordination, and other lifelong challenges.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is another type of injury that can result from inappropriate use of a vacuum during delivery. The excessive force applied to the baby’s head can damage delicate structures in the ear, including the cochlea or auditory nerve. This can result in partial or complete hearing loss, impacting the child’s speech and language development.

Scalp Lacerations

Vacuum-assisted deliveries can also cause newborn children to develop cuts or tears on their scalps. If the vacuum cup is not properly positioned or the suction force is too strong, it can cause injury to the scalp. Although scalp lacerations are typically less severe than other birth injuries, they can still result in bleeding, scarring, and other serious complications.

Skull Fractures

In some cases, the use of excessive force during a vacuum extraction can cause a newborn child to suffer a skull fracture. Improper placement of the vacuum cup or excessive traction can cause the bones of the skull to fracture. Skull fractures may require costly medical treatment and monitoring. In especially serious cases, victims may need surgical treatment to heal properly.


Finally, improper use of a vacuum during delivery can cause a newborn to suffer a stroke. Excessive suction or prolonged application of the vacuum can disrupt normal blood flow to the brain, leading to oxygen deprivation, blood vessel damage, or the formation of blood clots. This interruption in blood supply can result in a stroke. Those who suffer strokes may experience long-lasting neurological impairments.

Examples of Injuries Mothers Can Suffer During Vacuum Deliveries in Maryland

In addition to causing harm to babies, vacuum-assisted deliveries can also cause serious damage to mothers. The following are examples of injuries that mothers can suffer during vacuum deliveries:

Blood Clots

Vacuum-assisted deliveries can increase the risk of blood clots in the mother. The use of vacuum extraction may cause trauma to the birth canal, leading to damage to blood vessels. This trauma and subsequent blood vessel injury can increase the likelihood of blood clot formation, potentially leading to conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism.

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Vacuum deliveries can occasionally result in chronic pelvic pain for the mother. The use of vacuum extraction can cause trauma to the pelvic floor muscles, ligaments, and nerves, leading to ongoing pain and discomfort. Chronic pelvic pain can have a significant impact on a victim’s quality of life and may necessitate expensive medical treatment.


Furthermore, vacuum-assisted deliveries can contribute to urinary or fecal incontinence in the mother. The forceful extraction of the baby’s head using a vacuum may result in damage to the pelvic floor muscles or nerves responsible for controlling bladder and bowel function.


Lastly, the use of a vacuum during delivery can increase the risk of perineal tears for the mother. When the vacuum cup is applied with excessive force or improperly positioned, it can cause tearing or lacerations in the mother’s perineal area.

How Often Do Vacuum Deliveries in Maryland Cause Birth Injuries to Newborns?

Delivery can be a chaotic, stressful experience, especially if there are complications during labor that cause Maryland doctors to intervene unexpectedly. If a doctor tells you that a vacuum can help deliver your baby safely, you need to know what level of risk you’re assuming in saying yes.

While using a vacuum during delivery can understandably sound frightening, the risk of such actions causing harm to your newborn baby is relatively low, provided a Maryland doctor does not act negligently. About 5% of births involving a vacuum result in birth injuries of any kind. Of course, there is a risk in agreeing to vacuum-assisted delivery.

That said, experienced Maryland doctors should only advise using a vacuum if needed. Generally, this practice speeds up delivery and is used when babies are in distress or otherwise need fast extraction. Because of the potential risks, this practice should not be used unless necessary.

Who is Responsible for Birth Injuries Caused by Vacuum Deliveries in Maryland?

Unfortunately, like any medical procedure, there are dangers involved when a vacuum is used during birth. That said, responsible doctors should do everything possible to avoid causing life-altering birth injuries. If a doctor breached the duty of care owed to you and your child, resulting in your baby’s birth injuries, they can be held responsible in a lawsuit.

Maryland doctors are not always responsible for birth injuries resulting from vacuum-assisted deliveries. That said, in many cases, medical professionals’ negligence during delivery leads to birth injuries. Injuries from vacuum-assisted deliveries are no exception.

If a doctor decides to use a vacuum during delivery without paying mind to you or your baby’s previous diagnoses, they may be responsible for your child’s birth injuries. For example, it is generally unsafe to use a vacuum during delivery when a baby has already been diagnosed with a bone or bleeding disorder.

Moving forward with a vacuum-assisted delivery is dangerous if a baby is too large or breached. Risks increase when a mother is less than 34 weeks pregnant. Suppose a Maryland doctor was aware of these risk factors, or failed to run the necessary tests to become aware of these risk factors, and proceeded with a vacuum-assisted delivery. In that case, they can be held responsible for your child’s birth injuries.

In addition to knowing when it is safe to use a vacuum during delivery, Maryland doctors must also act responsibly while using a vacuum. If a doctor acts negligently and misuses a vacuum during birth, they can be held responsible for any birth injuries your child sustains.

Can You Recover Damages if Your Child Was Injured During a Vacuum Delivery in Maryland?

If you or your newborn child were injured as the result of a vacuum delivery in Maryland, then you may be able to recover monetary damages. However, the types of damages awarded in your case can vary depending on several factors. During your free case evaluation, our legal team can explain which of the following may be available to you:

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the financial losses incurred as the result of your child’s birth injury. There are many different types of financial losses that may stem from such an injury. For example, your injured child may require costly medical care, physical therapy, and assistive devices. Fortunately, the cost of your child’s past, current, and future treatment may all be accounted for.

Furthermore, if your child develops a disability as the result of their birth injury, then they may require expensive modifications to their home or lifestyle in order to properly accommodate their needs. These expenses could also be included in your claim against the defendant.

Non-Economic Damages

In addition to economic losses, there may be several forms of non-economic damages that stem from your child’s birth injury. These damages include the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your child’s injury.

As an example, someone who suffers a birth injury may be restricted from participating in various hobbies and activities as a result of their injury. Furthermore, they may have difficulties socializing with friends or engaging in meaningful relations with family members. These types of damages could be included in the victim’s claim against the party responsible for their birth injury.

What Should I Do if My Newborn Was Injured During a Vacuum Delivery in Maryland?

Labor and delivery can be stressful, especially if Maryland doctors intervene with procedures that frighten or concern a mother. If you are unsure why or how your doctor used a vacuum during your child’s birth and therefore don’t know if they are responsible for your baby’s injuries, ask a Maryland birth injury lawyer.

Immediately after realizing your child sustained injuries in a vacuum-assisted birth in Maryland, reach out to an attorney. Some injuries, like lacerations, are more apparent after birth, while others, like cerebral palsy, may take more time to show.

Regardless of your child’s injuries, speak to an Ocean City personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help your family hold a negligent hospital and doctor accountable for a vacuum-assisted delivery gone wrong in a lawsuit.

Call Our Maryland Lawyers if a Vacuum Used During Delivery Injured Your Newborn

If a Maryland doctor’s negligent use of a vacuum during delivery caused your child’s birth injuries, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Pasadena personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call today at (410) 694-7291.