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Improper Use of Forceps Lawsuit

Contact Our West Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Forceps are a type of surgical instruments that doctors sometimes use like a medical set of tongs. In delivering a baby, a doctor might use them as an alternative to the vacuum extraction method. A forceps delivery requires a physician to apply forceps to the baby’s head to help guide the infant out of the birth canal. This process is typically done while the mother pushes during a contraction. However, this instrument is famous for the damage it causes to both mother and child.

If you or your child was injured during the delivery by negligent use of forceps, talk to us about your case. Our skilled West Virginia medical malpractice attorneys can look over your case and make recommendations about your best course of action to seek compensation for the harm done to you.

When Forceps Are Necessary

Forceps are still used in particular circumstances. If a woman’s cervix is fully dilated, her membranes have ruptured, and the baby has descended into the birth canal head first, a doctor might use forceps if she’s unable to push the baby out. Likewise, if your child’s heart beat suggests a problem, you have a particular medical condition, or your child is facing the wrong direction, a doctor might recommend a forceps delivery. However, a forceps delivery should only be performed in a birthing center or hospital where a C-section can be done if necessary.

Conditions Where Forceps Are Inappropriate

In particular cases, recommending a forceps delivery rather than proceeding to a C-section can be irresponsible. For example, in the following situations, forceps should not be used:

  • The infant has a condition that affects the strength of his or her bones, such as osteogenesis imperfecta
  • The infant has a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia
  • The baby’s head hasn’t moved past the midpoint of the birth canal
  • The position of the baby’s head isn’t clear
  • The child’s shoulders or arms are leading the way through the birth canal
  • The infant doesn’t fit through the pelvis

Risks

Forceps deliveries can pose many risks for both mother and child. For the woman having the baby, this type of instrument could cause pain in the perineum, lower genital tract tears and wounds, difficulty urinating, short-term or long-term urinary or fecal incontinence, anemia, injuries to the bladder or urethra, uterine rupture, and weakening of the muscles and ligaments supporting your pelvic organs. Most of these are risks associated with vaginal deliveries in general, but a forceps delivery can increase the risk of this damage.

The risks to the child during a forceps delivery include minor external eye trauma, skull fracture, bleeding within the skull, seizures, facial palsy, and minor facial injuries. While severe infant injuries following a forceps delivery are rare, they do happen. For example, improper use of forceps can lead to brain damage, cerebral palsy, spinal cord damage, or even death.

Call Our Skilled Attorneys Today!

If you or your child was harmed during a forceps delivery, there might be a case of negligence involved. Talk to one of our experienced West Virginia birth injuries attorneys about the details of your case. Berthold Law Firm, PLLC is dedicated to helping the victims of negligence and carelessness seek compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. We have more than 70 years of personal injury experience to offer you and your family. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (304) 605-2040 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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