In the United States, thousands of children are injured during labor and delivery every year. The majority of injuries sustained by mothers and babies occur during complex births, such as those that involve failure to progress, abnormal presentation, and preeclampsia. In births where mothers become exhausted or are unable to continue pushing, doctors often opt to use forceps.
What Are Forceps and Why Are They Dangerous?
Forceps are made of metal and shaped like large salad tongs. During difficult births, doctors use forceps to guide an infant’s head through the birth canal during contractions.
Despite their effectiveness in removing a child from the birth canal, forceps tend to cause great damage and severe injuries, such as:
- Cranial swelling and bruising
- Skull factures
- Facial injuries
- Various forms of palsy
- Brain damage
- Shoulder injuries
- Nerve damage
- Brain hemorrhages
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
Before using forceps, physicians are usually required to inform parents of the risks involved. Many parents who are made aware of the dangers presented by the use of forceps decide to opt for emergency C-sections or other assistive methods. However, some parents do not have the opportunity to decline the use of forceps because doctors fail to obtain their informed consent, which could amount to medical negligence.
Even when parents consent to the use of forceps, doctors may be guilty of medical malpractice if they injured a child by doing any of the following:
- Failing to appropriately monitor fetal and maternal vital signs
- Failing to respond appropriately and quickly to signs of distress
- Failing to accurately diagnose and effectively address signs of birth injuries
- Failing to adhere to commonly accepted safety standards
If you or your child have been injured through the negligent use of forceps or another form of medical malpractice during the birth process, the best thing you can do is get in touch with an experienced birth injury attorney in New Hampshire right away.
New Hampshire Birth Injury Lawyers
At Abramson, Brown & Dugan, we provide legal representation for those affected by birth injuries in New Hampshire. We have the skill to help you and your loved ones achieve justice. Connect with a member of our team to receive a free, confidential case review as soon as possible.
Call (603) 323-4622 today to get in touch with a representative from Abramson, Brown & Dugan.