Chicago Forceps Injury Attorney
Although a very common procedure in the past, the use of forceps has become much less widespread, accounting for less than 1% of total deliveries. Current studies suggest that fatalities do not necessarily increase with longer periods of labor so long as careful fetal monitoring is undertaken. As a result, it is less of a medical emergency when labor is long and the use forceps is therefore less necessary in today's hospitals.
The other reason that the use of forceps has been in decline involves the greater availability of Cesarean sections (C-section). Whereas in the past, C-sections were considered a very last resort and dangerous due to the enhanced risk of infection and injury, more recent antibiotic choices and surgical techniques have made C-sections much more common.
When babies are born, they often exhibit bruises on the face, body, and head as a result of their passage through the birth canal. These bruises usually disappear on their own and pose little to no health risk. However, if the bruises are deep, a medical professional has likely improperly used forceps to remove the child from the birth canal.
Despite the decline in forceps deliveries, injuries do still occur to both baby and mother as a result of medical malpractice. Since 1990, the Chicago birth injury attorneys at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC have been helping families in this regard, and millions have been recovered on their behalf. Call us 24 hours a day at (800) 996-4824 for free information.
Types of Forceps Deliveries
Depending upon the location of the fetal head in relation to the mother's pelvis, a forceps delivery may be categorized as one of the following:
- Outlet Forceps: When the baby's scalp is visible between contractions;
- Low Forceps: When the baby's head is on the pelvic floor;
- Mid Forceps: When the baby's head has reached the midplane of the mother's pelvis;
- High Forceps: When the baby's head is not fully engaged in the birth canal.
Forceps Delivery Medical Malpractice
The potential for serious and permanent injury to both baby and mother exists whenever a forceps delivery is attempted. So it is of the greatest importance that the OB/GYN doctor makes sure that certain conditions are met before attempting such a procedure. To do otherwise may be negligence and if injury results, your family may have a right to file a lawsuit for monetary damages against the medical provider. Among the requirements that a doctor needs to follow to avoid malpractice are:
- The fetal head position must be well established
- The mother's cervix must be fully retracted and dilated
- The fetal head needs to be engaged
- The membranes must have ruptured
- Sufficient analgesia administered before procedure
- Size of pelvis vs. size of fetal head must be assessed prior to procedure
- Sufficient support staff and adequate facilities on hand
- The doctor must be properly educated and experienced with the use of forceps
Medical Malpractice Forceps Injury to the Mother
One of the most important requirements for a forceps delivery is that the doctor must be skilled and knowledgeable in the use of this device. Otherwise, even if all of the other requirements are met, the results may be serious or even fatal. Some of the risks to the mother during this procedure include:
- Wounds or tears to the lower genital tract
- Weakened ligaments and muscles that offer support to the pelvic organs, which may result in the dropping of the pelvic organs from normal position (known as pelvic prolapse)
- Urethra or bladder injury
- Pain in tissue surrounding anus and vagina (perineum)
- Problems emptying the bladder or urinating
- Loss of bladder control or incontinence
- Loss of blood during delivery or anemia
Medical Malpractice Forceps Injury to the Baby
Some of the most serious and potentially fatal dangers inherent in a forceps delivery, however, are those to the baby. Any time that pressure is applied to the head of a fetus or any amount of force is exerted on their very fragile bones, the potential for serious damage or wrongful death exists. Some of those dangers include:
- Cephalohematoma (bleeding inside the skull)
- Eye trauma
- Skull fractures
- Facial palsy or other injuries to the cranial nerve
- Cerebral bleeds
- Tearing of brain tissue or blood vessels
- Brachial plexus injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- Developmental and intellectual problems
Medical Malpractice Forceps Delivery Lawsuits
Anytime that a doctor fails to meet the "standard of care" such that an injury results, medical malpractice has occurred. In the case of forceps negligence, very serious and permanent injuries to both mother and child may occur as detailed above. When this happens, the result is pain, suffering, and ongoing expenses that can make everyday life more difficult. Our law offices are experienced in these matters and can file a lawsuit on your behalf to hold the medical providers responsible and provide at least some justice to an unjust situation.
Speak to a Chicago Birth Injury Attorney Experienced with Forceps Delivery
Since 1990, the attorneys affiliated with Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC have been helping families affected by the medical malpractice of doctors, nurses and hospitals. Many millions of dollars have been collected on their behalf to help ease the financial burdens associated with the injuries caused by such medical professionals. Call today at (800) 996-4824 to speak to an experienced member of our legal team with no obligation or cost to you.