Birth Injuries Caused By Misuse of Forceps
Forceps, a type of medical equipment used to assist difficult childbirth, are quite simple in design. They are essentially similar to a set of salad servers, though the end of each tong is a curved blade designed to pass easily up the birth canal and grip the head of the child, making it possible for the doctor to pull the baby out. Forceps were first used by the Chamberlens, a French family of surgeons practicing in the 16th century. They were initially kept secret by demanding that everyone leave the room and requiring the mother to be blindfolded, while the tool was carried into the room in a box. This secrecy allowed the Chamberlens to hold a monopoly on the use of this tool for assisting delivery, which led them to become the favored obstetricians of the King of England and other nobility.
What Are The Consequences Of Forceps Misuse?
While forceps can be an effective and even necessary means of resolving birth complications and safeguarding the health and safety of both mother and child, errors in their use can cause more harm than good. Applying too much pressure with the forceps can cause injury to the baby’s skull and may result in bleeding in the brain, which can lead to cerebral palsy. It can also damage the seventh cranial nerve, which causes temporary or permanent facial paralysis.
Another possible consequence of using forceps is the fact that it often pulls the baby down the birth canal in an improper position. While the normal course of childbirth will tend to move the baby into the optimum position for passage through the vaginal opening, forceps misuse will sometimes cause shoulder dystocia by positioning the child’s shoulder against the mother’s pubic bone. This sometimes causes complications that lead to the doctor pulling too hard on the baby’s head, which can result in a brachial plexus injury.
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Suing Your Doctor For Misuse Of Forceps
If your child was born with an injury and you know the obstetrician used forceps to assist the labor, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to determine whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. The consequences of a birth injury — both now and in the long term — can be devastating for your family, and we believe you should not be forced to pay the price for the doctor’s negligent actions. At The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny, our attorneys are dedicated to helping families recover financial compensation for such injuries, and with 100 years of combined experience and a track record of more than $100 million in insurance settlements and jury verdicts, we know how to get results. Contact us today for a free consultation and to take the first steps in your case.