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How can forceps lead to birth injuries?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Personal Injury

Childbirth is a miraculous event, but it can also be a challenging one for new mothers and infants. In some cases, forceps may be part of the delivery process.

While forceps are often a helpful tool in certain scenarios, they also come with complications and risks. Understanding these potential issues is important for expectant parents.

Forceps and their uses

Forceps are medical instruments resembling large, curved tongs made out of metal. They can grasp the baby’s head during delivery and help it go through the birth canal. Doctors use forceps when they have concerns about the baby’s well-being or if the mother is having difficulty pushing the baby out on her own.

Head and face trauma

Forceps carry the risk of causing serious injuries to the infant. One of the most common risks associated with forceps delivery is trauma to the baby’s head and face. The pressure exerted by the forceps can lead to bruising, lacerations or even fractures.

Nerve damage

Forceps deliveries can also have long-term consequences for the baby. One complication is a condition known as Erb’s palsy, which occurs when the use of forceps or other methods damages the nerves in the baby’s shoulder during delivery. It can lead to weakness or paralysis in the affected arm.

Brain issues

In addition to nerve damage, forceps deliveries can also cause brain injuries in newborns. The pressure applied to the baby’s head can result in bleeding or swelling of the brain, which may lead to developmental delays or other neurological issues.

Risks to the mother

While much of the focus is often on the risks to the baby, it is important to remember that forceps deliveries can also pose dangers to the mother. The use of forceps increases the likelihood of maternal tears or lacerations, which can result in pain and prolonged recovery time.

New parents may want to discuss the potential complications and be aware of their options. By understanding the risks involved, mothers can make informed decisions about their birth plans. Anyone facing birth injuries may want to seek fair compensation.