Vacuum device used during labor; boy, now 11, suffers seizure and developmental problems

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Daniel Bautista-Lorenzo suffers from seizures, developmental delays and chronic headaches.

Now the 11-year-old boy ... claims doctors ... caused his injuries by using a risky birthing procedure ...

... Alma Lorenzo went to the hospital for a near-term delivery ... and gave birth to her son at 10:55 a.m. the next day ...

"... there were no complications or indications that necessitated the use of a vacuum device," ... "However, McCoy instructed Freed to remove Bautista from the birth canal by performing a vacuum delivery procedure. Freed told McCoy that he had not performed this type of delivery before and he was uncomfortable with the procedure."

After the delivery, the newborn "exhibited the symptoms of apparent seizures, left sided blinking of the left eye, and involuntary movement of the left arm," ...

... a physician "assessed a right frontocerebral hemorrhagic infarction with a subdural hemorrhage," ... Doctors transferred the infant ... where he exhibited seizures ...

"... pediatric neurologists came to the consensus that the contusions resulting in the subdural hematoma and bleed in Bautista's brain were secondary to and caused by the trauma of the vacuum deliver ..."

... neither Freed nor McCoy informed the boy's Spanish-speaking parents of the risks of and alternatives to a vacuum delivery. Neither doctor obtained written, oral or informed consent from the parents to perform the procedure ...

Vacuum extractors are helpful for some labours and they do save lives. The issue is around the risk / benefit of the procedure, where the doctor ought to be sure that the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. This is the same with any procedure, medication, recommendation etc. All interventions carry risks, so the onus is on the treating doctor to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks. For a woman experiencing a normal labour, a ventouse carries more risks than a normal birth.