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Can vacuums cause birth injuries?

If you are preparing for the birth of a child, you may wonder about the safety of vacuum extractors, which are a common tool that many doctors choose to help aid in the delivery of babies. While these devices can be used properly and safely, there are some instances where they result in the injury of the child they are meant to help. If your child is born in a vacuum-assisted delivery, he or she could sustain injuries ranging from the very mild to severe. 

According to Healthline, the vacuum extractor is made with a soft cup that fits over the baby’s head and creates suction. This cup can cause superficial wounds on the scalp, such as bruises, small breaks in the skin or minor swelling that can give the baby’s head a cone shape. However, this shape is often seen in successful deliveries that are not vacuum-assisted. These minor injuries usually heal within two days after a baby is born.

However, your baby may sustain more serious injuries if they have a vacuum-assisted delivery. This includes a hematoma, or blood pooling under the skin following damage to an artery or vein. These can be mild or severe, depending on where in the skull the hematoma forms. If your child develops a hematoma under the scalp, he or she could lose a large amount of blood, which could be fatal. Other potentially dangerous side effects of vacuum extractor-use in childbirth include uncontrolled bleeding in the skull, and severe jaundice. This is intended as informational only, and should not be taken as legal advice.

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