What Complications Can Arise During Forceps Deliveries?

To protect mothers and their babies, the medical field sets standards for when a forceps delivery is appropriate and when it is not. If your newborn baby suffers injury or dies because of an obstetrician’s failure to meet standard practices for a forceps delivery, immediately consult a Manhattan injury attorney to identify your legal options.

The Mayo Clinic states that forceps deliveries create possible risks for babies, including:

  • Minor facial injuries from the pressure of using forceps
  • Temporary facial muscle weakness (facial palsy)
  • Minor external eye trauma
  • Skull fracture
  • Bleeding within the skull
  • Seizures 

Situations in which a forceps delivery can be beneficial include when the mother has been pushing but is not making progress in the labor, when the baby's heartbeat is a problem and a fast delivery is safer for the baby, when the baby's head is facing the wrong direction and when the mother has health concerns and it is best to limit the time she has to push. However, when the baby’s head has not descended past midway into the birth canal or when the mother is not fully dilated, the obstetrician should not deliver using forceps. Also, when the baby is too large to fit through the mother's pelvis or the obstetrician does not know the baby's head position, a forceps delivery is unsafe for the mother and baby. The doctor should be prepared to do a c-section when an attempted forceps delivery compromises the baby and can dangerously lower its heartbeat.

By working with an experienced attorney, you can determine whether the injuries in your case resulted from forceps delivery injury in Manhattan and determine whether you can pursue compensation.

At Rich & Rich, P.C., we have access to medical experts who help us evaluate medical malpractice cases and testify on behalf of our clients. Call 646.736.3999 to arrange your free consultation.

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