Vacuum Extraction Lawsuit Filed Over Fatal Head Trauma During Birth

A California couple has filed a birth injury lawsuit against an obstetrician who allegedly caused their baby to suffer a fatal head trauma while using a controversial vacuum extraction technique. 

The complaint was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court late last month by Seda Kaplanyan and Tigran Gadyan against Dr. Kevin Galstyan.

According to the lawsuit, the child, David Gadyan, suffered a massive compression fracture and extensive brain bleeding during his delivery at Glendale Memorial Hospital on February 24, after Dr. Galstyan used a pressurized vacuum device to assist in the deliver. The baby died the next day at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

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The vacuum extraction lawsuit accuses Galstyan of negligence in his use of the device during delivery. According to the claim, questions arose after an autopsy by the Los Angeles County Coroner, who recommended an inquiry into the infant’s death after examining the damage.

Vacuum extraction involves the use of suction on the child’s head to speed up delivery and help remove the infant from the birth canal. The process is primarily used when the baby is in distress.

Vaginal delivery using a vacuum extractor has slowly replaced the use of forceps in many situations, as they are generally considered safer and reduce the risk of facial nerve damage from forceps. However, severe and potentially life threatening birth injury can still occur with the use of vacuum extraction, most commonly involving bleeding in the area between the skull and the scalp or bleeding inside the child’s skull. This can result in brain damage, developmental problems or cerebral palsy.


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