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Improper Use of Forceps during Delivery can Cause Fatal Injuries to a Baby

Nov 5, 2015 | Birth Injuries

What are Forceps

Forceps are devices that are used to extract the baby from the birth canal during delivery. They are designed with a curved end that wraps around the head of the baby. The ends of the curved side touch the baby’s cheeks and are connected at the base like a pair of scissors. Forceps can injure the baby’s nerves or skull when too much pressure is applied during the birth process.

The Appropriate Use of Forceps

Forceps are used during delivery when the baby is in distress, or when the mother is experiencing difficulty in delivering the child. To facilitate the safe use of forceps, the obstetrician must ensure that the mother is fully dilated and the membranes are ruptured. When the baby’s head is too large to make it through the mother’s pelvis (cephalopelvic disproportion), forceps are not suitable to be used, as it could damage the baby’s head or nerves.

Using forceps can have multiple advantages, provided they are used with care and only if the situation warrants. Forceps often help avoid a C-section and reduce duration of delivery process. They are usually used at ease when the baby’s body is in a straight line inside the birth canal, with the head entering the pelvis first. Various factors help obstetricians determine the need for forceps during delivery, such as:

· Maternal factors

o Prolonged labor in the second stage

o Exhaustion

o Hemorrhage

o Medications and drugs that affect the mother’s efforts to push

o Illnesses such as high blood pressure or heart disease in the mother that make it difficult and dangerous for her to push

· Fetal factors

o Breeched position

o Irregular fetal heart rate

Certain pre-requisites must be double-checked for, before deciding on forceps delivery:

· The baby’s head is engaged.

· The cervix is dilated fully.

· Membranes are ruptured.

· Positioning of the baby is known. If unknown, an ultrasound must be performed to understand the fetal presentation.

· Fetal size is accurately measured by clinical pelvimetry.

· Maternal anesthesia is administered without room for error.

· Maternal bladder is empty.

· The mother is informed about the risks of forceps delivery.

· The physician is skilled and experienced in administering forceps delivery.

Injury by Forceps and Legal Remedies

When an able and competent obstetrician administers the birth process, delivery using forceps can be safe, quick, and painless. However, improper use of forceps can result in permanent injuries to the mother and baby. Negligent use of forceps can lead to any of the following injuries:

· Skull fracture

· Lacerations or bruising to the vagina or cervix

· Brain damage

· Lacerations or bruising to the baby’s head

· Facial nerve palsy

· Intracranial hemorrhage

· Cerebral palsy

· Delayed development

· Brachial plexus injuries

Call Us Now for Remedy

If you or your child has suffered due to medical negligence during forceps delivery, get in touch with our New York City Medical Malpractice Attorneys to weigh your best options for legal action. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff have law offices situated in Astoria, Queens, New York City and two offices in Brooklyn.

Our attorneys understand your agony and know how to win cases. If you want to increase the size of your bank account, we are the law firm that has proven itself in the legal trenches many times before and even now with other clients. If you have a winning case, we will know what steps to take to rattle the other side. Call 212 697 9280 now if you want to see the end of the rainbow.

Your baby should be protected!