Kiwi or Vacuum Suction Injuries

A kiwi or vacuum suction delivery can be a safe and effective delivery method. However, if a doctor that is unpracticed or inexperienced or uses the vacuum the device in haste the baby can be permanently injured.

What is a Kiwi or Vacuum Extractor?

Devices that have place a cup on the baby’s head and uses suction to help pull the baby out during delivery. Some vacuums have a soft cup, while others use a hard metal cup and can either use a hand pump or an electric compressor to help guide the baby out.

When Should a Kiwi or Vacuum Extractor Be Used?

The most common reason kiwis or vacuums are used is when the mother is unable to push the baby out by herself during the delivery. This could occur for a variety of reasons such as: illness or infection, maternal exhaustion, hemorrhage, a prolonged second stage of delivery, or when drugs keep the mother from being able to push the baby out successfully. Fetal factors that could call for the use of a kiwi or vacuum device are a breech delivery or trouble reading the fetal scans.

Often times these factors are time sensitive and allow the doctors to justify the use of kiwi or vacuum devices as an emergency dictates. In most cases, kiwis or vacuum devices will not be used unless there is a way to perform an emergency C-section in the case that they are unsuccessful.

What Are the Possible Risks?

A kiwi or vacuum extractor is generally unsafe to use for more than 20 minutes. Injuries can occur if the device is used improperly, if too much suction is applied, the cup is positioned incorrectly, the vacuum is used when the baby is too far in the birth canal, or if the device is used for a prolonged period.

Injuries that can result from the vacuum extractor include:

  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Scalp lacerations and bruising
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Developmental delays
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Subgaleal hemorrhage (bleeding between the skull and the scalp)

Kiwi or Vacuum Versus Forceps

Normally the obstetrician makes the choice between a vacuum device and forceps. Studies are not consistent in regard to the relative risks of each. Using forceps tends to have a higher likelihood of incurring maternal injuries or facial nerve palsy, while using a vacuum device is more likely to cause shoulder dystocia or Cephalohematoma.

Know your rights.

If you or your child sustained injuries during the delivery process due to a kiwi or vacuum device your doctor may be at fault. Call the attorneys at Powers Taylor today. They have experience in all types of medical malpractice cases. We care about each client and work to get you the justice you deserve. Call today for a free consultation. All calls are kept confidential.