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When Delivery Results In Injury: The Dangers of Negligent Forceps Use

Any parent will agree - delivering a baby is half exciting, half terrifying. During this dramatic experience, parents often put both the mother and child's fate in the hands of an obstetrician, trusting their doctor to make the best decision for the health of all involved.

Forceps and Vacuum Extraction Delivery Methods

If a delivery is not progressing, a physician may choose to use either forceps or vacuum extraction delivery methods. This may occur when the mother is tired after many hours of labor or if a form of distress is present, such as a low fetal heart rate. Delivery in such situations aided by these tools serves as a viable alternative to a caesarian section (C-section).

A forceps assisted delivery utilizes a device that resembles a long pair of tongs. The tongs are placed on either side of the baby's head and used to guide and pull the baby through the birthing canal. The vacuum extraction method does the same thing, using a device shaped like a cup that attaches to the infant's head with suction.

Injuries Attributed to Birth Assistance Methods

Although often useful to ensure the safety of both mother and child during a difficult delivery, injury can result if used unnecessarily or improperly. Injuries to the infant include minor bruising, swelling or fractures. The most common bone injury is a broken or fractured clavicle.

Unfortunately, more serious damage can result in brain and spinal injuries. Nerve injuries can lead to various forms of palsy and paralysis. In rare cases, trauma from the procedure can lead to the infant's death.

Remedies Available

If injury or death results from negligent or unnecessary use, a medical malpractice claim may exist. This is established if a duty to provide care was breached and led to injuries.

A duty is present in any patient/doctor relationship and a breach is based on the generally accepted standard of medical care. Specialists, like obstetricians, are held to a higher standard.

When the elements of medical malpractice are met, victims can receive compensation for medical and rehabilitative expenses as well as pain and suffering. If you or a loved one were injured by negligent birthing techniques, it is important to contact an experienced forceps birth injury attorney to ensure all legal rights and remedies are protected.

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Anderson Law Offices, LLC 17138 Lorain Avenue, Suite 211 | Cleveland, OH 44111
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