If the use of forceps during delivery caused your baby harm, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any resulting injuries.
You have the right to help from a lawyer. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at 1-800-222-9529. An attorney will listen to your case and help you prepare a lawsuit that compensates you for your losses.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Forceps Delivery Injury Lawsuits & Injury Cases
Without the help of a birth injury lawyer, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for a forceps delivery injury can be a complicated process. Your doctor or another health care provider who was present at your delivery might have contributed to your current condition or that of your baby.
An attorney can help you assign liability, prove the medical professional in question violated the standard of care, and identify the damages to which you might be entitled. Once proven, these damages could amount to a sizeable financial recovery. Speak with an attorney about your forceps delivery injury today and get started on the road to physical and financial recovery.
Forceps Delivery Injury Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Forceps Delivery Injury Types
The use of forceps or other assistive devices in the delivery of your baby can pose health risks. Injuries to your newborn might include:
- Brain damage
- Skull fractures
- Cerebral palsy
- Shoulder injuries
- Low Apgar scores
- Head and facial cuts
- Bruising and swelling
Forceps Delivery Injury Causes
The use of forceps during delivery is a complex medical event requiring the skill and expertise of a trained physician. Without proper training and use, a forceps delivery might result in serious injury to your baby. Forceps delivery injuries can be caused by physician error, use of forceps when they are not medically necessary, improper use of forceps, or use of forceps following vacuum or other assisted delivery instruments.
Forceps Delivery Injury Symptoms
Symptoms of a forceps delivery injury can include:
- Cuts or bruises on the head, face, and ears
- Shoulder displacement
- A swollen or misshapen head
- Nerve damage
- Bleeding in the brain
- Eye trauma
Forceps Delivery Injury Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnoses and treatment of forceps delivery injuries will vary widely depending on the degree and extent of the damage. Your newborn may require a range of treatments that could include lengthy hospital stays, prescription medications, surgical intervention, and ongoing physical or occupational therapy.
Forceps Delivery Injury Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If My Baby Has A Forceps Delivery Injury?
Evidence of a forceps injury are often visible. You may notice bruising, swelling, cuts, or scars on your baby’s face. Your newborn may also show signs of distress, suffer from jaundice, exhibit shoulder displacement, have facial palsy or paralysis, or trauma to their eyes. If you notice any of these visible signs, seek medical help for further testing that may uncover additional damage such as eye trauma, brain bleeds, or hearing loss.
Can A Forceps Delivery Injury Be Fatal?
The use of forceps during your delivery can cause injuries ranging from minor swelling and bruising to lifelong disabilities. Babies who suffer from a forceps delivery injury may experience brain damage, facial palsy, shoulder damage, and in rare cases, injuries severe enough to cause death.
Who Is Liable For A Forceps Delivery Injury?
You should be informed of the need for forceps and asked to give informed consent prior to their introduction. Finding out if the doctor who delivered your baby using forceps is liable for your injuries requires collecting and professionally reviewing your medical records. Your newborn’s medical records will also require the same scrutiny.
An attorney can help you find the expert witnesses you need to examine these records once they are compiled. We can help you identify the liable parties in your case against the hospital, doctor, and other health care professionals who were present during your delivery.
What Is The Statute of Limitations For A Forceps Delivery Injury?
Did you know your state limits the amount of time you have to file a claim for medical malpractice? Each state also has basic laws governing evidence, proof, and filing status.
Each state further protects the rights of infants by imposing tolling for minors. Simply stated, tolling for minors means the clock effectively stops on the statute of limitations until the child reaches their eighteenth birthday. Once they turn eighteen, the clock starts tolling and the statute of limitations starts counting down.
Filing a claim for a birth injury due to a forceps delivery is a complex matter. Your attorney will help you understand the statute of limitations and the statute of repose in your state. The statute of repose will bar you from recovering compensation regardless of whether your child has shown symptoms of their injuries yet.
Call 1-800-222-9529 to speak the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. We can help you meet the timeline for filing your claim and avoid letting the statute of repose negatively impact your case.
Can a Forceps Delivery Cause Cognitive Development Disability Problems?
A forceps delivery can cause cognitive development disability problems. During the second stage of labor, progress may stall, and the doctor may feel they need to assist in the delivery of the baby. This often occurs when pushing is not helping the baby move down the birth canal, or circumstances occur that require immediate delivery. However, there are many risks associated with a forceps delivery.
The risks related to a forceps delivery include acute or lasting injuries to the mother and the baby. For the baby, forceps delivery injuries may result from the misuse of an instrument during delivery and could cause permanent damage and disability.
Forceps Deliveries Put Immense Pressure on the Child’s Skull
Thankfully, forceps deliveries are rare. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, forceps or vacuum extraction devices are used in only about three percent of vaginal deliveries across the country. Close monitoring for risk factors during pregnancy and the use of medications and other techniques to speed delivery can reduce the need for these tools.
Because of the way forceps work, they put pressure on the baby’s head during delivery. In some cases, this pressure can far exceed the pressure the baby would experience during a normal vaginal delivery. This can lead to injuries that cause brain damage and cognitive developmental disabilities. These injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Bleeding in the brain.
- Other injuries that disrupt blood flow to the brain.
Some parents never link their child’s traumatic birth with their developmental concerns, because it often takes several years to identify symptoms and get a diagnosis of a developmental disability. If your child was born via forceps delivery or had another type of difficult birth and now has a developmental disability that affects their cognitive abilities, the two may be related.
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Forceps Delivery Injury Glossary Terms
- What is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a hereditary medical condition in which the blood loses its ability to clot resulting in severe bleeding from injuries of any size.
- What is Facial Palsy?
Facial palsy is droopiness or the loss of facial movement due to nerve damage. Facial palsy can be caused by a viral infection. A difficult labor, delivery, and birth may cause short-term or long-term facial palsy in some newborns.
- What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord often caused by a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. Meningitis can be serious or fatal if left untreated.
Forceps Delivery Injury News
Some Mothers Are Told Not To Push When They Need To
During labor, a mother will feel a strong urge to push with her pelvic muscles to help the baby out of her body. But according to a report by Mother.ly, some mothers are being told not to push when their bodies are telling them to do it. This can cause injury to the baby.
The reason they’re told not to push is that the doctor or midwife isn’t ready to receive the baby yet. In some cases, this is valid. For instance, if the baby is experiencing shoulder dystocia or there is a problem with the umbilical cord, adding pressure could injure the child.
However, some mothers have said that nurses have forced babies back into the birth canal. Delaying pushing also makes labor last longer and increases the risk of infections and bleeding. It can also cause damage to the mother’s pelvic floor.
Some mothers have been able to win lawsuits against hospitals who forced them not to push during labor. It depends on the situation, like all medical malpractice cases.
If the reason is due to a shortage of doctors or beds, this is a serious problem that can lead to charges of negligence. Mothers do not have control over when their babies are born.
Call For A Free Consultation With A Birth Injury Lawyer
A forceps delivery birth injury can require a lengthy recovery. While you concentrate on taking care of your infant, trust us to focus on your available legal remedies. We will fight for a fair settlement that compensates you for your recoverable economic and noneconomic damages.
When you are ready to hold the right people responsible for the forceps delivery injuries that harmed you or your newborn, call 1-800-222-9529 for a free consultation with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today.
What Are Some Of The Common Symptoms Of A Forceps Injury?
Most birth injuries that occur during a forceps delivery are relatively minor, and minor injuries can occur even when doctors use these tools correctly. Bruises and minor scrapes (along with a temporary change in head shape) are most common and heal on their own—quickly. More serious injuries are relatively rare but do occur.
When used improperly or too forcefully, forceps can cause serious injuries to the infant. If your doctor employed forceps during your child’s delivery, it is important that medical care professionals evaluate any possible signs or symptoms of related injuries and observe the baby rule out any emergent concerns.
Common Symptoms of a Forceps Injury
The nature and severity of forceps injuries can vary widely but generally center around injuries that occurred because of the force applied to the baby’s head. Many of these injuries are visible immediately following birth. This may include:
- Bumps, scrapes, and other marks on the baby’s face and head
- Swelling or a cone-shaped appearance
- Cuts deep enough to bleed
Bruising is very common and will likely appear in the first few hours of the baby’s life. If there are nerve injuries, a medical care provider will often note a droopy eye or side of the face during initial evaluations or within the first 24 hours. All these injuries usually heal on their own in a few weeks, although some nerve injuries may require additional treatment or even be permanent.
Forceps Can Cause More Serious Injuries
In rare cases, usually, after a doctor forcefully tugs on the baby instead of using the forceps to guide them down the birth canal, more serious injuries may occur. This could include:
- Neck injuries, up to and including paralysis
- Nerve injuries in the neck or shoulder
- Bleeding inside the baby’s head
- Brain injury including cerebral palsy caused by bleeding
The signs of these more serious injuries can vary. A bleed between the scalp and the skull, for example, will create a large bruise on the scalp or head. Neck injuries and nerve injuries can instantly stop movement in the affected areas of the body. Doctors may diagnose any of these conditions and begin treatment before the newborn leaves the hospital.
Brain injuries such as cerebral palsy, however, can be more difficult to diagnose. Even if a thorough evaluation shows a brain bleed, there is often no way to know how any damage is done will affect the child until much later when they fail to meet developmental milestones on time or cannot keep up with their peers.
Many children with epilepsy have their first seizure within 24 hours of birth, so this may be a sign of a brain bleed and brain injury.
Birth Injury Lawsuits
If your child displays common symptoms of a forceps injury, you may be eligible to pursue compensation to cover the losses and expenses your family suffers as a result, including damages for your child’s pain and suffering. You may have a valid medical malpractice case against the doctor or hospital if:
- They failed to monitor your pregnancy and labor and order a medically necessary cesarean delivery; or
- They failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, instead of acting negligently; or
- Your child suffered preventable birth injuries because of a doctor or staff member’s careless or negligent actions.
To find out if you may have a valid birth injury case, you should schedule a free case review by a medical malpractice attorney in your state. Your attorney will be able to:
- Evaluate the strength of your case
- Explain your right to pursue compensation
- Talk to you about the deadlines that apply in your case
- Navigate the claims process on your behalf
- Build a strong case based on your state’s laws
- Enlist the help of medical expert witnesses to prove your case when necessary
Your attorney will attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement or win a verdict for your family in court. If successful, you will be eligible to recover damages for your documented losses and expenses related to your child’s injuries and treatment, both in the past and in the future.
Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney in Your State About Your Case
You can connect with a birth injury attorney who regularly handles cases like yours in your state by calling the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now at (800) 222-9529. A birth injury lawyer can help you set up your initial consultation and learn more about your rights today.
Can A Forceps Injury Lead To More Serious Conditions In A Newborn?
When a doctor uses forceps improperly, calls for their use when another medical staff is skeptical, or uses too much force when using the forceps, serious injuries may occur. Forceps, even with proper use, comes with an increased risk of injury. It is paramount that doctors follow all protocols and best practices when using forceps, vacuum extractors, and other similar devices.
Serious, lasting injuries from a forceps delivery are rare and often preventable. However, they do occur, and forceps birth injury can lead to more serious conditions in a newborn. If your child developed a condition related to their forceps injury, you may have grounds for a valid medical malpractice case. A birth injury attorney can help you understand your rights and the strength of your case.
Forceps Birth Injuries Can Lead to Serious Conditions
While it is rare, it is possible for a forceps delivery to cause a significant birth injury and lasting impairment. When this occurs, it usually involves some type of head injury, such as skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries, or a brain bleed.
Any of these injuries can result in:
- brain damage
- cerebral palsy
- cognitive delays
- developmental delays
- behavioral concerns
- learning disabilities, and more.
Injuries to nerves or the spinal cord are also possible if the doctor acts carelessly during a forceps delivery. These injuries could lead to lifelong impairments, including long-term facial palsy, paralysis, or other motor difficulties.
Sometimes the Benefits of a Forceps Delivery Outweigh the Risks
In some cases, when it is too late to opt for a cesarean section (C-section) delivery, but labor is not progressing, the doctor may recommend a forceps or vacuum extraction delivery. In general, as long as the doctor follows the proper protocol for this type of procedure, there are few risks aside from relatively minor injuries.
This may happen if:
- Labor is not progressing, and the mother or baby are showing signs of stress
- The baby’s heart rate increases or decreases dramatically
- The mother is struggling with high blood pressure or another significant health concern
There are also a number of criteria that must be met before a doctor should perform a forceps procedure. The mother’s cervix must be fully dilated, and her membranes ruptured. The baby must be in the mid to lower birth canal and have a head-first presentation. Attempting a forceps procedure outside of these circumstances can put the baby at risk of serious injuries.
Some Factors Could Discourage Forceps Delivery
A doctor should not attempt a procedure delivering a baby using forceps or a vacuum extractor when this type of delivery is discouraged by other medical staff or external conditions. Doing so would put the baby and mother at an increased risk for injuries.
Some reasons a forceps delivery should not occur include:
- The baby has a disorder that causes weak bones, often osteogenesis imperfecta
- The baby has a bleeding or clotting disorder
- There is a reason to believe the baby may have one of these disorders, such as a sibling with hemophilia
- The baby is still above the midpoint of the birth canal
- The baby’s presentation or position is unknown
- The baby is not presenting head-first
- The baby might not fit through the birth canal
Birth Injury Lawsuits
If your doctor used forceps improperly or performed a forceps procedure under unsafe conditions, and your child suffered birth injuries as a result, you may have a valid medical malpractice case against them. To find out more about your rights and to learn if you are eligible to take legal action, you likely want to discuss your case with a birth injury lawyer who practices in your state who knows that a forceps birth injury can lead to more serious conditions in a newborn.
During your free case evaluation and initial consultation, your lawyer can help you understand:
- Your legal options based on the facts of your case
- Any deadlines that apply to your case
- How to take the next step to hold the doctor or hospital accountable
- What it takes to prove a birth injury medical malpractice case in your state
- The strength of your case
- The types of damages that may be available to you
Birth injuries and other medical malpractice cases often depend on a medical expert witness who can testify to the acceptable standard of care, as well as your child’s prognosis and possible future care needs. Your attorney can help you identify the best practitioners for this, and enlist their help on your behalf.
With a solid case behind them, your attorney will attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement or will take your case to court and fight for a verdict for your family.
Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney in Your State
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you identify a medical malpractice attorney who takes on birth injury cases in your state. They can help you schedule your free initial consultation with a lawyer near you today. Call us: (800) 222-9529.