Birth Injury Blog

What Types of Birth Injuries Can Be Caused By Forceps & Vacuums?

Posted By Beam & Raymond || 1-May-2017

When labor and delivery become difficult, medical professionals often use medical instruments to facilitate the birthing process. Commonly, these include forceps and vacuum extractors. While they can be effective in assisting with a vaginal birth, they are not without their risks especially if a cesarean section should have been used to deliver. In fact, when used improperly or when used in an inappropriate situation, these medical devices can cause otherwise preventable birth injuries.

As a birth injury law firm serving victims and families throughout the United States, Beam & Raymond has worked many cases involving birth injuries that result from the negligent use of forceps and vacuum extraction. Our legal team has the experience and insight to know when and how these devices should be used during labor and delivery, and can help you determine if they were used improperly during your delivery and whether they caused a preventable injury.

Below are common birth injuries resulting from forceps and vacuum extraction:

  • Forceps – Improper use of forceps, including improper placement on a baby’s head, can lead to injuries that include fractures of the skull, blood clots, stroke, nerve damage in the face, cerebral palsy, and facial bruising or lacerations.
  • Vacuum Extraction – Vacuum extraction presents substantial risks, and when used improperly can lead to cerebral contusions, compression, bleeds, and similar injuries to improper forceps. It can also cause cerebral palsy, brain damage, seizures, motor and mental impairment, and tearing of brain tissue and blood vessels.

Because forceps and vacuum extractors pose significant risks of injury, their use is carefully regulated by Hospital protocol and, in the case of vacuum extraction, by the FDA. For example, vacuum extraction should be used under limited circumstances, such as when a child’s head is low enough in the birth canal for the device to be used safely. Failures to use these medical instruments in according to protocol and the acceptable standard of care can result in injuries for which medical professionals may be held liable.

Physicians, nurses, and medical professionals are obligated by their legal duty to treat patients safely and to reduce risks of preventable injuries that can be caused by substandard care. When they fail to uphold this duty, by negligently using forceps or vacuums, they put newborns at risk of suffering preventable injuries that may have a life-long impact on their quality of life and the lives of their families.

Because the consequences of substandard care can lead to profound consequences, negligence and improper use of medical devices during delivery leading to permanent injury should never be tolerated. By exercising your legal rights, you can make your voice heard in the civil justice system, hold negligent health care providers accountable, and pursue the financial compensation you need and deserve.

For more information about pursuing a potential birth injury case and how our award-winning Chicago birth injury attorneys can be of assistance, do not hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation.

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