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Forceps and Birthing Injuries

The use of forceps is sometimes necessary during a difficult delivery. When used correctly, forceps can save the day and lead to a safe delivery. However, when they are not used properly, they can cause permanent injuries to both the mother and the baby.

What are forceps? Forceps are medical instruments that are used to pull a baby out of the birth canal. The model used most commonly has one end that is curved to wrap around the baby’s head.

When should forceps be used? Forceps are commonly used when the mother is having a difficult time delivering the baby, such as when the baby is in a breech position or when labor has been prolonged. They are also used when the baby is in distress. It is not appropriate to use forceps when the baby’s head is too large to pass through the mother’s pelvis. Further, the mother should be fully dilated, and the membranes must be intact to safely use forceps.

What are common forceps injuries?

Some injuries caused by the improper use of forceps include:

  • Bruising or lacerations to the baby’s head
  • Bruising or lacerations to the mother’s cervix or vagina
  • Facial nerve palsy
  • Eye trauma
  • Skull fracture
  • Brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Developmental delays

Birthing injuries can occur with or without the use of forceps. If your child has been injured, contact a compassionate Pennsylvania birth injury law firm to seek the compensation you deserve.

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