All expectant mothers hope to deliver their babies without complications. However, many deliveries require the aid of obstetrical forceps. Forceps, which fit around a baby’s head, are instruments designed to facilitate delivery and guide the baby down the mother’s birth canal. Obstetrical forceps are used in a variety of labor and delivery situations. Often, they are used when a difficult labor has stalled due to maternal health problems, maternal exhaustion, prolonged or arrested labor, size incompatibilities between the mother and fetus, and fetal distress.
Forceps-assisted births are relatively rare in the United States, according to a 2006 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That year, less than one percent of births involved forceps. Used correctly, forceps can help deliver a baby in a faster, healthier way. However, when used incorrectly, forceps can lead to trauma, brain bleeding and brain damage. Because they are often associated with these dangerous birth injuries, the use of forceps has consistently been considered controversial by a number of professionals.
Forceps Delivery & Birth Injury
Using forceps safely requires a high level of medical skill and expertise. Therefore, inexperienced doctors and medical professionals should never carry out the procedure. The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates research in all aspects of health care, found that in forceps-assisted births, women were more likely to suffer vaginal tears and trauma and experience some kind of incontinence after the birth than those who had vacuum-assisted births. While most maternal injuries can be treated, neonatal injuries from a botched forceps delivery are often severe and permanent. Forceps can cause marks and bruising on the baby’s face, and misplaced forceps can result in more severe outcomes including brain bleeds, seizures, brain damage, cerebral palsy (CP), and even fetal death.
Forceps Delivery Injuries in the News: Botched Forceps Delivery Results in Fatal Neonatal Spinal Injury
A recent report describes a family whose newborn daughter passed away as the result of the misuse of obstetrical forceps. The couple’s daughter, Alexandra, only lived for three days before she died. Her parents believe she was the victim of medical malpractice. They reported that the medical professionals involved in Alexandra’s delivery were determined to avoid reverting to a C-section delivery in order to reduce the Cesarean rate. The doctors that delivered Alexandra used Kielland forceps, a form of obstetrical forceps that are particularly dangerous. Kielland forceps differ from standard obstetrical forceps in that they are used to rotate a baby stuck in an abnormal, sideways position in the birth canal. To read more about the story, visit this link.
Forceps Delivery Injury Attorneys & Lawyers
At Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers, our legal team has over 50 years of cumulative experience handling cases directly related to birth injuries, birth trauma, and forceps delivery injuries. Unlike most law firms handling medical malpractice cases, Reiter & Walsh only takes cases specific to birth injury. Due to our specific and narrow focus, we are trusted, effective leaders in the field of birth trauma litigation. If you have any legal questions or case inquiries related to forceps deliveries or birth injuries, we encourage you to reach out to our legal team. Our Detroit, Michigan birth injury lawyers are available to speak with you 24/7. You may call our law offices toll-free at 888-419-2229, press the Live Chat to the left of your browser, or complete this online contact form.