Forceps Birth Injuries Are Increasingly Common

A new study shows a startling increase in the physical trauma to women from forceps deliveries. Researchers have warned for years that doctors are not receiving appropriate training in the use of forceps. Therefore, forceps are a main contributing factor to birth injuries.

About Birth Injuries

A birth injury is not a birth defect. A birth defect is a health problem that usually is DNA related. Some examples are Down Syndrome, a cleft palate or even a heart murmur. Sometimes birth defects derive from outside factors like taking SSRIs during pregnancy. A birth injury is one suffered by a child during labor or delivery or soon after birth. Birth injuries may range from minor problems such as lacerations or bruising to severe injuries that could prove fatal. These injuries can derive from medical staff making mistakes that harm your child. These mistakes could hurt him or her for their entire life. These mistakes could happen for a variety of reasons, including inattentiveness, exhaustion, or inexperience. Researchers have pinpointed other causes of increased birth injuries.

Forceps Use

Obstetric forceps have been used to facilitate vaginal deliveries since 1500 BCE. Forceps are made of stainless steel and consist of two blades (each approximately 37.5 cm long, crossing each other), a lock at the site of crossing, and a handle, whereby the instrument is grasped by the obstetrician. A forceps delivery happens if the cervix is fully dilated, membranes have ruptured and baby has descended into the birth canal headfirst, but the mother cannot push the baby out. Most mother don’t know that they can request a C-section instead.

Dangers of Forceps Birth Injuries

A recent study in the Medical Association Journal on the role of forceps during the birth process found that the use of forceps increases the physical injuries to woem and babies. Almost 27% of mothers experienced severe tears to pelvic organs and joints. These lacerations increase among first-time mothers and women with a previous C-section.

Mothers aren’t the only one in danger. Researchers saw an increase of trauma to babies as well. The rate increased from 4.5 to 6.8 during the six year study period. The most common injuries to babies included brachial plexus injury. This is a damage to the nerves that come from the spinal cord in the neck and travel down the arm.

The reason the injury rates are rising is that doctors favor forcep use, however skill and trainings to use the device is dwindling. Since more babies are born via C-section (roughly one third), there are fewer opportunities to teach younger doctors. In a 2007 study, only half of the graduates of an American residency program felt competent in using forceps.  Only 13% of all vaginal deliveries in America during 2014 used forceps.

This lack of training means more women will be injured. In fact, many women become very angry when they or their babies are injured since doctors are not competent in using the delivery aide.

Hold Doctors Liable for Forceps Birth Injuries

The court can hold medical professionals liable for their negligence. Many states prove medical malpractice by a medical professional breaching the standard of care. Therefore, they cause harm to their patient. Standard of care means the acceptable procedures and practices within the profession and geographic area.

Birth injuries are costly. You could receive compensation for your baby’s injuries. This includes medical care, hospital visits, medication, physical therapy, special-needs equipment and education, counseling, psychological services, and pain and suffering. In many states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the injury or from the date when the patient knew or should have known that the injury occurred. This is why it is important to act quickly and chose a knowledgeable complex litigation attorney.

Therefore, it is important to remember that if your child’s birth injuries are a result of medical negligence and carelessness, the medical staff, hospital, and/or physician may be liable for damages. A complex litigation attorney can help. At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, our lawyers have decades of experience helping injured people get justice and full compensation for injuries caused by negligence. The Michel Brady Lynch Firm regularly takes on the largest corporations in the world with a track record of proven success and results. Contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm today, and our attorneys will review your case for free and help you protect your rights. Therefore, for your complimentary consultation, call our office now.

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