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Forceps delivery and the risk of birth injuries


The birth of a child is a very exciting experience for parents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the nation. Even before the baby is delivered, soon-to-be parents have countless concerns about both their babies' development and possible issues the newborn could suffer after his or her birth. Pregnant mothers are also frequently concerned about the birthing process, hoping for a safe and easy delivery.

The medical professional assisting with the delivery plays a major role in this process, and if a doctor error occurs during delivery, the newborn could suffer birth injuries that could impact him or her for months, years or even his or her entire life.

In some instances, medical tools might be required during delivery. Forceps could be used if labor isn't progressing, the baby's heartbeat suggests that there is a problem, there are health concerns for the mother or the baby's head is facing the wrong directions. Resembling large spoons, forceps are applied to the baby's head, helping to guide the baby through the birth canal.

While this tool could be greatly beneficial to the life and health of both the mother and the newborn, there are several forceps delivery risks that should be considered. Possible risks to the baby include minor facial injuries from the pressure of the forceps, temporary facial palsy, minor external eye trauma, skull facture, bleeding within the skull and seizures.

Although minor marks on a baby's face after a forceps delivery are normal, common and temporary, if major or permanent marks occur or more serious effects result, parents should consider the care provided by the doctor and whether these injuries could have been avoided. If a newborn suffers birth injuries due to a forceps delivery, it is important that parents consider whether medical negligence or errors were a factor. If this is the case, a medical malpractice suit might be an option.

When a baby suffers birth injuries due to the negligence of a doctor, compensation might be awarded through a civil action. This could provide parents with the means to cover expenses such as medical bills, surgeries, pain and suffering, rehabilitation and other related damages..

Source: Mayoclinic.org, "Forceps delivery," Accessed June 29, 2015

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