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What are the risks associated with forceps delivery?

Whether it is the first child or the second, third or fourth, the birth of a child is a joyous event for parents. While it is an exciting time when new life is being brought into the world, it could also be a time of complications and medical issues for the newborn. Although birth defects are possible and complications could occur during delivery, if a medical error takes place during the birthing process a serious birth injury could occur.

In some cases, a doctor may suggest or require that forceps be used during delivery. Although this is considered a useful and relatively safe tool and procedure, a forceps delivery could pose risks to the baby. These risks are considered rare, but according to a report by the Mayo Clinic, a newborn could suffer injuries such as minor facial injuries, temporary weakness in the facial muscles, minor eye trauma, skull fractures, bleeding within the skull of the new born and even seizures.

With regards to minor marks on the face of the newborn or minor injuries, these are considered both normal and temporary. Serious injuries to the infant after a forceps delivery are rare, but when they occur, they might be due to medical errors. If a doctor is negligent and does not uphold his or her duty of care, serious preventable injuries could occur to the infant.

When an infant is injured in the birthing process, this could lead to serious birth injuries that could impact the baby's life temporarily or even permanently. The injuries may require surgeries and future medical care. In these matters, parents should investigate the situation and consider a medical malpractice suit. This could lead to compensation being awarded to cover the damages and losses caused by the birth injury.

Dealing with the aftermath of a birth injury could be a difficult and emotional event for parents. It could be challenging to navigate the situation, especially when they are dealing with the needs and care of their newborn. In these matters, it is important that parents know how to address these situations so they could take appropriate action and provide the necessary medical care for their infant while also alleviating the financial hardships caused by the birth injury.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Forceps delivery: Risks," accessed on Nov. 6, 2014

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