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Forceps Injuries: Risks to Mothers and Babies

Sep22
Birth Injury

Forceps are a medical instrument used to facilitate extraction of a baby’s head through the birth canal during delivery. Forceps-assisted deliveries are typically performed when labor becomes difficult or when there are signs of distress, and there are medical standards in place for when and how they should be used. Unfortunately, physicians and treating health care providers do not always exercise proper caution or treat patients in accordance to accepted medical standards when using forceps.

When medical negligence during a forceps delivery results in preventable birth injuries, victims have a right to hold the treating medical providers liable for their damages, including their past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D & Associates, our Washington, DC birth injury lawyers leverage their experience as both medical doctors and licensed attorneys to fight for the justice and compensation medical malpractice victims deserve.

Risks to Mothers

Improper use of forceps during delivery can pose a number of risks to mothers, including:

  • Uterine rupture, including life-threatening rupture
  • Damage to bladder or lower urinary tract
  • Internal bleeding
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Cervical, perineal, and vaginal lacerations

Risks to Babies

Babies also face risks of suffering serious injuries or death when forceps are used improperly. These include:

  • Skull fractures
  • Facial nerve damage (facial palsy), lacerations, or bruising
  • Blood clots / strokes
  • Brain damage and cerebral palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia

Due to the potential for serious risks faced by both mothers and babies, forceps should only be used when the unique circumstances at hand make it an appropriate choice. In addition to being held accountable when negligently using forceps and causing preventable injuries, medical professionals may also be held liable when forceps are used at inappropriate times, such as well the fetus or head are not properly positioned, or when a mother’s cervix is not properly dilated.

Our legal team at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D & Associates has experience representing victims, including both mothers and babies, who have suffered injuries as a result of negligent forceps use during delivery. If you have questions about your rights and whether you may have a valid medical malpractice claim, contact us for a FREE consultation.

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