For more information of confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Lawsuit Alleges Vacuum Extraction Birth Injury

baby holding mothers hand

The mother of a little boy who has suffered from severe medical problems has filed a birth injury lawsuit against the Department of the Army. She is demanding justice for her child, claiming that healthcare providers, who are employees of the defendant, handled her labor and delivery in a negligent manner, which led to her child’s birth injuries. Improper vacuum extraction and the misuse of Pitocin are among the allegations.

The mother is demanding compensation from the Army in excess of $75,000 to cover the boy’s medical expenses, lifelong care needs, and other losses. Although the mother and child currently live in Georgia, this case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, given that the healthcare facility the mother received care in is located at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Child diagnosed with severe birth injuries

On July 26, 2010, the plaintiff presented at the healthcare facility for labor and delivery. According to the birth injury lawsuit, after the negligent use of vacuum extraction and Pitocin, the child was permanently injured. He was born with a brain hemorrhage. The mother alleges that the healthcare providers informed her it was normal for a child to have a brain hemorrhage. There are several different types of brain hemorrhage an infant might be diagnosed with; the lawsuit is not specific as to which type the minor child had. However, a brain hemorrhage, which involves bleeding on the brain, can result from lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery, or deformity of the bones of the skull during delivery. Brain hemorrhages in infants can cause complications such as poor feeding, lethargy, and seizures.

Unfortunately for the minor child, his medical problems only grew worse. In December 2010, the child was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, at which time the mother realized that her son had injuries stemming from labor and delivery. Hydrocephalus is a serious medical concern that is caused by the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Excessive fluid accumulation places pressure on the brain and it may lead to permanent brain damage. If left untreated, hydrocephalus is typically fatal for the infant. If the infant survives, complications may develop, including cognition and memory impairment, bladder control problems, balance problems, and blurry vision.

After being diagnosed with hydrocephalus, the minor child was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation. A Chiari malformation is a medical problem that is present at birth. Type II Chiari malformations are known to be connected with hydrocephalus. With this type of the condition, part of the brain tissue migrates downward through the bottom of the skull. A Chiari malformation can lead to developmental delays, breathing problems, decreased sensation and strength, pain and stiffness in the neck, and rapid eye movement.

The lawsuit claims that the minor child has been diagnosed with permanent brain damage and developmental delays, and that the state of his health is only expected to grow worse. He is expected to have a decreased ability to support himself and to require intensive care throughout his lifetime.

Defendants accused of multiple acts of medical malpractice

The plaintiff accuses the defendants of failing to acquire her informed consent for vacuum extraction, which allegedly led to birth injuries, and for failure to acquire her informed consent for refusal of a C-section, which may have prevented the child’s injuries. She further charges the defendants with misusing the medication Pitocin, which resulted in hyperstimulation of the uterus, and failing to properly shut off the administration of Pitocin to enable the child’s heartrate to normalize.

Furthermore, she accuses the healthcare providers of using vacuum extraction with excessive force and of failing to use other less harmful methods of facilitating the delivery.