The risks of a forceps delivery can include nerve damage, head injuries in the infant, seizure conditions in the child, weakening of ligaments surrounding a mother’s pelvic organs, injuries to the mother’s urinary tract. Most risks pertaining to forceps deliveries involve doctors improperly using the tools, such as being too rough when using forceps on the child’s head. In newborns, the risks of using forceps during birth can include:
- Seizures due to brain injuries.
- Nerve damage, most commonly in the face, neck, and shoulders.
- Eye injuries.
- Skull fractures.
- Internal bleeding.
When it comes to risks for the mother, studies show that the side effects of forceps deliveries can include:
- Injuries to the perineum.
- Tears in the uterine wall, which can force the fetus into the mother’s abdominal cavity, potentially causing further complications.
- Trouble using the bathroom, including not being able to control bowel and bladder movements.
In many cases, the use of forceps may not even be necessary, which can further contribute to a negligence claim against the attending medical staff. If you or your child suffered injuries from undergoing a forceps delivery, a birth injury lawyer can be there to help. You can fight to recover damages related to any forms of pain and suffering you have had to endure, as well as any lasting effects.
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Forceps Deliveries Can Cause Permanent Damage
According to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, only 1 in 100 babies were delivered with the help of forceps in 2007. This is a significant decrease from the 1 in 20 forceps deliveries performed in 1990. This is at least partially due to the potential for injury. The practice of using forceps to deliver a baby has the ability to cause injuries that will follow victims for the rest of their lives. These can include:
- Permanent nerve damage.
- Brain injuries.
- Blindness or hearing difficulties.
- Bruises, which may cause conditions like caput succedaneum, cephalohematoma, and jaundice in the infant. Untreated jaundice may then result in a life-threatening type of brain injury condition known as kernicterus.
- Physical disfigurements.
Although a baby’s condition may improve with extensive medical treatments, severe disabilities caused by forceps use may be irreversible. Examples of such serious conditions include palsy conditions, like cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy.
Cerebral palsy in newborns has been known to occur in instances where there are uterine ruptures, detached placenta, and issues with the oxygen supply to the child’s brain—all of which can occur during forceps deliveries. Head injuries can also cause cerebral palsy to manifest, commonly resulting in life-long disabilities. Erb’s palsy, while generally less severe, can also cause the complete paralysis of a sufferer’s limbs in the affected region.
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Reasons Doctors May Use Forceps in Deliveries
The attending medical professionals supervising the birth may opt to use forceps for a number of reasons, including instances in which pushing becomes a problem for the mother or the baby. For example, pushing for an extended period of time with little result can cause issues with the mother’s blood pressure. The baby’s heartbeat can also be a cause for concern and require a quick delivery aided by forceps.
However, many forceps deliveries are marred by medical malpractice, either by needlessly using the tools when the birth does not call for it, the positioning of the baby’s head is incorrect or unknown, or the mother’s hips are too narrow for a vaginal delivery.
When medical professionals ignore these signs and these acts of negligence do occur, they can cause injury. Victims may be entitled to seek legal action against the parties responsible for their pain and suffering.
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Birth Injury Lawyers Representing Forceps Injury Victims
When people ask, “What are the risks of a forceps delivery?” the answer may go far beyond physical injuries. Especially when the ensuing damages deal with a newborn child, these forceps injury cases can have profound mental effects on a victim’s family. This does not even include the thousands of dollars many victims are forced to pay for medical treatments related to these injuries.
Here at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we want victims to know that they do not have to endure their legal battle alone. Our attorneys can be there with every step of the way, standing up to the negligent parties who caused your pain and suffering. No matter how big the liable hospital or medical practice may be, we do not back down from a challenge.
To learn more about taking legal action in birth injury cases, contact a representative at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for your free consultation at (800) 222-9529.
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