Is Suction Delivery Safe?


Roughly 1-in-3 children come into the world through caesarian section. This is shocking to many medical professionals who claim there’s no need for C-section because forceps and suction delivery are far safer when used properly. With so many stories and birth injury cases in the news, many expecting parents wonder if suction delivery is safe.

When is Suction Used?

Understanding the risks of suction-assisted delivery requires an understanding of its application. Suction assists exhausted mothers, pulling the baby as the mother pushes.

There are six criteria for an ideal suction-assisted delivery. When the criteria are not met, the doctors dramatically increase the risk of injuring both mother and child.

Ideal use of suction-assisted delivery requires the following circumstances:

· Late-term pregnancy (34 Weeks or more)

· Ruptured amniotic membrane (Water broke)

· Fully dilated cervix

· Baby’s head is in the birth canal

· Baby’s is not facing up

· Baby is not too large for the birth canal

When these criteria are met, most medical professionals agree that suction delivery is safer than a C-section. Despite this, only 0.56% of American births make use of suction tools. Perhaps that comes from suction’s bad reputation as a result of risky maneuvers and medical malpractice.

Risks of Suction Delivery

When doctors apply suction before verifying all six criteria, they risk permanent damage to both mother and child. That’s partially why suction delivery gets so much attention; improper or negligent application hurts everyone involved.

Risks to the baby include:

· Lifelong cerebral palsy

· Brain damage

· Cephalohematoma (Swollen skull)

· Jaundice

· Erb’s Palsy

· Bleeding eyes

Risks to the mother include:

· Vaginal tearing

· Blood loss

· Labor pains after delivery

· Pelvic weakness

· Incontinence

These injuries are extremely worrying. If the doctor suggests suction-assisted delivery, mothers should ask if they meet all six criteria as that will minimize risk to themselves and their baby.

If your child suffered a birth injury as a result of improper suction delivery, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney from the Moore Law Firm to evaluate your case, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (513) 232-2000.

Get in Touch

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.