Obstetrical forceps were created in the mid-1500s. At that time, babies were often delivered by midwives, nurses, or grandmothers. Forceps would allegedly allow anyone, regardless of skill, to deliver a baby. Now, forceps are often the target of criticism from grieving parents impacted by birth injuries.
When a baby is in distress or cannot move through the birth canal on their own, doctors are left with three options: c-section, vacuum extraction, or forceps. Each comes with associated risks. Many US doctors opt for c-section over forceps, citing reduced risk to the mother and child.
Forceps Increase Risk
While forceps account for less than one percent of all vaginal births, they account for 1/3 of all birth injuries. Moreover, studies estimate that every 1% increase in forceps-assisted birth will result in an additional 700 birth injuries per year.
Improper use of forceps is a serious problem and that’s partially because forceps-assisted births are much less common now. As a result, new medical professionals aren’t trained to use these instruments. At the same time, forceps have a high potential to cause injury by their nature.
Forceps Cause Injury
Improper use of forceps can have devastating effects on the mother and the baby. Mothers may experience perennial tearing and extended recovery time. The baby could suffer from a variety of complications, based on the doctor’s forceps technique.
Using forceps to rotate the baby in the birth canal is one of the more dangerous maneuvers and is often associated with an increased chance of birth injuries.
Using the right amount of pressure is also a constant worry for doctors planning a forceps-assisted birth. Overly forceful squeezing can cause brain damage. It’s no wonder that 30% of birth injuries result in cerebral palsy due to an injury to the brain.
Forceps also raises the risk of bruising and paralysis. In rare cases, negligent and improper use of forceps may damage the baby’s spine or even result in death.
If your child was impacted by an injury due to a forceps-assisted delivery, you could be entitled to rightful compensation. If you’d like an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney from The Moore Law Firm to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (513) 232-2000.