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Use of forceps during the delivery of a child is sometimes necessary. Using this surgical tool, a doctor can gently guide an infant through the birth canal when complications arise. Improper use of forceps can cause injury to the infant, some of which may be life-long or life-threatening.
During delivery, the mother may suddenly hemorrhage. Forceps may be used to quickly bring the child safely from the birth canal. Also, if the second stage of labor is prolonged, forceps may be needed.
Another reason to use forceps involves the inability of the mother to push during contractions. This can occur for many reasons:
The medical community has developed several conditions which must be met before forceps are used to assist in delivery. There are also several contraindications which would restrict use of this tool. A physician using the device should be well-trained with the experience to properly use it.
To safely use the device, full dilation of the cervix is necessary, the baby’s head must be in the birth canal, the exact position of the infant and dimensions must be known, and the mother must have an empty bladder.
Forceps must not be used if gestation is under 34 weeks, if the baby’s head is too large for the mother’s pelvis, or if there are any connective tissue or bleeding disorders present with the infant.
Prior to using forceps, there must be adequate anesthesia for the mother and the risks must be fully explained. Most importantly, the physician must be willing to abandon use of the forceps should these prove inadequate for safe delivery. If the device does not work, the only alternative is a C-section. Different delivery devices should not be used at this point.
Roughly 28,000 birth injuries occur in the United States each year, many because physicians ignore the long-standing procedures related to proper use of forceps. These injuries often result in cephalohematomas, intracranial hemorrhaging, and cerebral palsy. Some, such as cephalohematomas do not cause serious or long-term conditions, but all result in unnecessary medical expenses and repeated treatments. In serious cases, conditions including brain damage exist for life, causing difficulty for parents and the child. Such medical negligence should not be ignored.
The Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. help those who have suffered from the negligence of others. When birth injuries occur, these are often the result of improper use or procedures. You have a right to seek compensation for your lost time from work, medical bills, and more.
We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey from our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. For a free review of your case, contact us online or call now 856-354-9444.