Is It Dangerous to Use Forceps During Childbirth?
There are millions of babies born every year in the United States. In 2020, for example, an estimated 3.61 million babies were born. While there are many births that go off flawlessly others may have complications and the baby may need assistance to make it out of their mother’s birth canals. In hospitals, doctors are trained to quickly react to various changing and rapidly deteriorating emergency situations. This includes using tools like forceps to help a birth come along and assist in delivery.
Forceps may be necessary to help a baby make its way out into the world, but it is imperative that the doctor who chooses to utilize this assistive device does so with care and skill. Mistakes and missteps in using forceps during childbirth can have catastrophic implications for babies and their mothers. When a doctor is negligent with their use of different devices or treatments, they can be held accountable for the devastating aftermath that results.
If your baby suffered a birth injury in Pennsylvania, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the medical provider that caused your baby harm. For help with this legal matter, the Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP can discuss your situation with you during a free consultation.
How Can Forceps Harm a Baby During Delivery?
Think of forceps as a type of medical tongs that are meant to be used when a baby is struggling to make its way out of its mother’s womb and birth canal. When a baby is stuck, this can lead to severe injuries if the issue is not addressed properly. It is imperative that doctors in the delivery room get to work and quickly help the child through assistive vaginal delivery methods. As a result, forceps may be the tool of choice to get things moving along.
There are different types of forceps that a doctor may use depending on the situation. In terms of how often forceps are used during delivery, in 1990 more than 5% of all deliveries were on record as using forceps. Though, by 2020 the number of deliveries that used forceps decreased significantly. Only .5% of deliveries required the use of forceps.
Even though forceps can be used to assist childbirth without any damage to the mother or her baby, there are times when they are used and inflict severe injuries to babies including any of the following:
- Bleeding in the baby’s head
- Fractures to the baby’s head
- Lacerations across the baby’s face and head
- Bruising and abrasions
- Facial palsy
- Cerebral palsy
Mothers can also suffer harm including, but not limited to:
- Blood clots
- Uterine rupture
- Vaginal tears
- Pelvic organ prolapse
Speak to a Pennsylvania Birth Injury Attorney Today
Birth injuries can be traumatic for the baby, and his or her loved ones and the birthing mother can also suffer physical bodily harm. These incidents can be highly emotional and distressing. When negligence is what caused your baby’s birth injuries, then you may be able to hold the medical professional who caused you and/or your baby’s harm accountable for their actions. Call the Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson at (215) 731-9900 to schedule a free consultation where you can learn more about your legal options.