Birth injuries can create significant emotional, physical, and financial difficulties for many families. In some situations, these are preventable instances. If you believe your child has suffered as a result of medical malpractice, it is always wise to contact an attorney to discuss your case. Our law firm helps many birth injury families to get the compensation owed to them in such instances. This may include injuries from vacuum or forceps use.
Injuries from Vacuum and Forceps Use
In some births, doctors may elect to use a vacuum extractor, a type of device that applies suction to help in the birthing of a child. In other cases, doctors use forceps, a type of medical equipment, to help with the birthing process. In some situations, these methods are safe and necessary to facilitate the birth of the child. In others, they can create high risks for the baby.
In many cases, vacuum extractor and forceps use is done as a part of operative or assisted vaginal delivery. Doctors often resort to these methods after traditional, natural vaginal birth becomes too difficult or not possible.
It is not wrong for a doctor to use these tools. In some situations, they become very vital to the birth of a child. However, many factors are at play in these situations. For example, some doctors prefer one method over the other. Vacuum extractors are more common today than forceps, but both are often available to doctors at the time of birth. Experience in using these devices as well as in making the decision to use them can play a role in the outcome of such events.
Can Vacuum Extractors and Forceps Cause Birth Injuries?
The use of these medical devices can be very safe. However, when doctors use them improperly, they can create very serious and even life-long injuries to individuals. Injuries from the use of vacuums and forceps may include:
- Trauma to the child’s brain
- Hemorrhages or bleeding in the brain
- Skull fractures
- Brain swelling
- Brain damage leading to cerebral palsy
Some children may have physical injuries as well such as damage to limbs. When and why this happens varies significantly, but if your child has any type of limitation like this and forceps or vacuums were a part of the birth process, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case.
What Types of Decisions Are Improper?
It can be difficult to say what specific instances led to the wrong decision by doctors to use these tools. In some cases, even when these types of injuries occur, the doctor is not at fault. However, many other instances are cases of medical malpractice.
Improper Use of Forceps
A doctor may determine there is a need to use forceps during the birthing process if the child is in the wrong position for birth or the mother is having difficulty during the process. The use of this medical device helps to reduce the risk that a child will suffer from a lack of oxygen or fetal distress, a medical condition that can have significant medical outcomes. However, if used in the wrong manner, forceps can lead to nerve damage for the child. This often occurs in the area of the neck as well as the child’s chest. In some cases, it can also cause cerebral palsy if a delay occurs.
Improper Use of Vacuum Extractors
A vacuum extractor helps a child that may be wedged in the birth canal to move through it. A doctor will apply the vacuum, which creates suction, to the child’s shoulders or his or her skull. This helps to move the child through the birth canal safely. To avoid injury, doctors must place the vacuum properly and operate it at a safe level. If this does not happen, injuries to the child’s skull or shoulders can occur potentially leading to cerebral palsy, nerve damage, or other types of conditions.
In addition to these factors, doctors may be liable in situations where they do not take action soon enough to correct or avoid these types of situations. For example, if a doctor failed to use labor-inducing drugs such as Pitocin to encourage labor to progress, this can lead to malpractice. Neglecting high-risk patients or failing to take preventative steps prior to the delivery can also play a role in this outcome.
Get a Free Legal Review of Your Case
You may be eligible for compensation if a doctor was negligent in the birth of your child. Contact our legal team today to discuss your case during a free case evaluation.