Misuse of Forceps Washington DC
The Rich Firm, PC attorneys have represented numerous clients who have been injured by the negligent use of forceps for infant extraction. Forceps are utilized in obstetrics to attempt to maneuver a child through the birth process if they are experiencing one of many potential problems of movement or position. Breech presentations, shoulder dystocia, and situations in which the child’s head will not pass easily through the birth canal may all prompt the use of forceps. They are used because the benefits exceed the risks in the attending physician’s estimation. They can save lives.
Once very commonly used, in many cases today physicians will preempt a difficult delivery, if it can be foreseen, by scheduling a Caesarean section. However, although we would all wish that childbirth was predictable and routinely ended with a joyful celebration of new life, the fact remains that difficulties in delivery cannot always be predicted, and forceps are sometimes used to deliver a healthy baby while avoiding any maternal injury.
Unfortunately, some physicians do not use forceps properly in all cases, whether because of lack of ability or knowledge, or perhaps because of negligence. The results can be devastating to either mother or child.
Maternal injuries after childbirth may occur due simply to the significant stress of childbirth on the mother. However, if the physician miscalculates his use of forceps, it may result in long-term health problems for the mother. These problems include an entire spectrum ranging from the grave condition of uterine rupture, which is life threatening, to perineal injuries. Prolapse of the pelvic organs may occur as a result of damage to ligaments or muscles. There may be injuries to the urethra or bladder, causing infection or incontinence. Fecal incontinence in the mother may sometimes occur if the forceps are inappropriately placed. Blood loss and infection may be transient or can result in a series of unfortunate events that could even end in death. Hospitals are dangerous places.
Injuries to the infant from use of forceps often have tragic results. There are head injuries that have left infants functionally disabled for life as the result of poorly applied forceps used to aid in delivery of the head. These injuries may range from skull fractures, permanent brain damage, disfigurement, and damage to the facial nerve. Years of medical treatment will follow in these cases.
Shoulder dystocia has been treated with forceps delivery, and in more than a few cases, there has been damage, including avulsion injuries, which leave the infant with a paralysis of the extremity.
Conditions that may necessitate the use of forceps include macrosomia, which is a large fetus, malpresentation, or failure to progress in labor. Some of these conditions can be anticipated with good prenatal care.
Contact The Rich Firm, PC, P.C for legal help in misuse of forceps
If you or your child has experienced an injury from improper use of forceps during delivery, you may be entitled to assistance for the ensuing years of medical treatment that may be required. If the midwife or physician is responsible, you may be entitled to compensation, and you may simply want to discuss the events of the delivery with a trained and objective professional. The Rich Firm, PC, with medical doctors on staff, may be able to assist you with obtaining an understanding of a tragic event, and potentially enable you to receive compensation for any negligence if present.