There’s a fine line between right and wrong use of forceps

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
September 1, 2017

You have spent your pregnancy nurturing the new life inside of you while patiently, or impatiently, awaiting the arrival of your newborn. You have done what you can to prepare for the big day, but when it comes, the unexpected occurs, and the delivery does not go as you hoped or planned.
In some cases, an infant becomes stuck in the birth canal. Your obstetrician may need to use forceps in order to help guide your baby into the world. As you have contractions, the doctor gently pulls on the baby’s head through the birth canal with the forceps. However, too much force could lead to serious or deadly injuries. When done properly, this method works well, but when it goes wrong, it can be disastrous for you and your child.
How forceps can injure your baby
If forceps are not used appropriately or with care, the following injuries to your baby could occur:

  • Skull fractures
  • Facial injuries
  • External eye trauma
  • Bleeding inside the skull
  • Facial muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Ischemia
  • Brain swelling
  • Epilepsy

Sadly, some children have died from the improper use of forceps during delivery. Children can also suffer lifelong repercussions such as brain damage, hematoma or cerebral palsy, just to name a few.
How forceps can injure you
The potential for injuries is not limited to your child. Improper use of forceps could also result in the following injuries to mothers:

  • Urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Anemia due to blood loss
  • Perineum pain
  • Urinary difficulties
  • Urethra or bladder injuries
  • Uterine rupture
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

These issues could arise through a normal vaginal delivery, but when forceps are used, the potential increases. Even though some of these issues may clear up over time, some of them could cause you lifelong adverse health issues.
How to obtain compensation for such injuries
Whether it was you, your child or both who suffered injuries as a result of a forceps delivery, you may have significant medical issues that require lengthy or lifelong treatment. You may have other needs as well, depending on the circumstances. In either case, your financial situation could suffer.
You may have legal options to obtain compensation that could provide for you or your child’s medical and other needs, both in the short term or long term. Medical malpractice claims are often intensely emotional and complex, especially when your child is involved. It may benefit you greatly to seek out the advice and assistance of an attorney who understands your plight and will aggressively seek compensation and justice on your behalf.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

September 1 2017

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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