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Examining the role extractors play in birth injuries

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2015 | Birth Injuries

Recent advances in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology have seemingly turned the process of childbirth into a routine procedure. Yet while modern medicine has delivered much better delivery outcomes for both mothers and babies in Bennington, errors resulting in injuries do still occur. RightDiagnosis.com reports that the annual incidence of birth injuries in the U.S. is about 7 per every 1000 deliveries. A vast majority of these injuries are the result of simple human error.

Of course, there are situations where naturally-occurring complications require the medical personnel on-hand to utilize different instruments in order to assist with a delivery. The most common tools used to assist a baby’s passage through the birth canal are forceps and vacuum extractors. According to a report authored for Review In Obstetrics and Gynecology and published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 5 percent of all deliveries in the U.S. require the assistance of instrumentation.

Unfortunately, it’s often when this instrumentation is used that the likelihood of birth trauma goes up. In the same report from Review In Obstetrics and Gynecology mentioned earlier, study data was shared that showed the incidence rate of infant intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside of the skull) was 1 for every 860 births involving a vacuum extractor, and 1 in every 280 involving a combination of forceps and an extractor. In contrast, the study showed the same condition to occur in only 1 of every 1900 unassisted deliveries.

Parents faced with the potential of having these instruments used in their babies’ deliveries may be left with a difficult decision. While they’re designed specifically to help avoid scenarios that lead to birth injuries, the instruments themselves can present a hazard. Thus, parents are encouraged to review all available alternatives with their providers before deciding upon an instrument-aided delivery.