What is a Forceps Delivery?
Forceps are a medical instrument that works like a pair of tongs to help extract a baby during delivery. Forceps are often used when the baby is stuck in the birthing canal or during a C-section. This type of delivery can pose a high risk to both the mother and baby and when used incorrectly, they can cause serious damage to both the mother and the baby.
Forceps Delivery Injuries for Mothers
Like any medical procedure, all births have risks, but the Mayo Clinic advises that risks are “more likely with a forceps delivery.” Some of the most common forceps delivery injuries for mother include:
- Lower genital tract wounds and tears
- Uterine rupture, difficulty urinating, or painful urination
- Short or long term urinary or fecal incontinence
- Short or long term injuries to the bladder or urethra
- Anemia — a condition in which there is a lack of healthy red blood cells used to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body
- Perineum Pain— pain in the tissue found between a woman’s vagina and anus
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse – Weak muscles and ligaments in the abdomen cause pelvic organs to drop into other organs. Only surgery can treat pelvic organic prolapse.
Forceps Delivery Injuries for Babies
Babies can also suffer from a variety of injuries caused by the improper use of forceps. Some of the most common injuries for babies include:
- Facial injuries due to the pressure of the forceps
- Temporary or long term weakness in the facial muscles, also known as facial palsy
- External eye trauma
- Skull bruising and/or fracture
- Shoulder dystocia
- Subdural hematoma – bleeding within the skull or brain
Long Term Effects of Forceps Delivery Injury
While it is possible for the baby to sustain minor injuries during a forceps delivery, it is also possible for them to receive serious injuries. These may include spinal injuries, paralysis, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and even death.
Experienced Forceps Delivery Injury Attorneys
If your child was injured during a forceps delivery and you suspect or know they may be long term, you have legal options. Please call Lopez McHugh LLP as soon as possible for a no obligation and confidential consultation.