When assisting with a birth, doctors may rely on a variety of medications, tests, and tools to ensure the delivery is seamless. The goal of using tools during birth is to minimize any potential risk of harm to the infant and mother.
Forceps are one medical instrument that can be used during birth. Although they can be helpful in some instances, forceps can be hurtful too.
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What are Forceps Used For?
Forceps are a medical device that, in appearance, resemble a pair of scissors. However, they are used for grabbing things rather than cutting or snipping. They are used in surgery and a variety of other medical procedures but are commonly associated with their role in the birthing process.
During the delivery of an infant, a doctor may turn to forceps to aid the birth. They are most often used during vaginal deliveries, rather than a Caesarean section (although they can assist with C-sections as well). Forceps, when used correctly, is a tool that helps a doctor remove a baby from the birth canal. They grab the baby’s head and are intended to ease the delivery in cases of difficult labor or complications. Forceps may also be used to reposition a baby that is situated in a way that could hinder the birth. Sadly, forceps are not always used correctly. As a result, the baby and mother may suffer from injuries.
Are Forceps Used in Most Births?
Forceps are a relatively common tool to use during deliveries, but they are not as popular as they once were because of the link to complications. The decrease in forceps use means many doctors are not experienced with their operation. If forceps are necessary during birth, an unskilled physician can harm their patients.
The nature of forceps use presents an inherent risk to fetuses — skilled and gentle operation are crucial. The tool is used as a method for pulling or moving infants in the womb, but should not be used in every instance where assistance is needed. For example, forceps should be avoided if the baby is not far enough through the birth canal or has certain health issues that could increase their risk of injury. It is a doctors’ responsibility to determine when forceps are absolutely necessary.
Improper use of forceps can cause complications such as:
- Brain damage
- Brain bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Injuries to the face and eyes
- Skull fractures
- Facial palsy
Forceps injuries can impact the birthing mother. Injuries may include:
- Blood loss
- Damage to the uterus and other reproductive organs
- Bladder damage
- Urethra damage
- Blood loss
- Pelvic organ prolapse
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Forceps injuries are often a direct result of a doctor’s negligence. If necessary, this tool can be used during birth as a way to aid in the process. To use forceps as intended, a doctor must have expertise and a delicate approach. The potential dangers of forceps injuries are well known in the medical community, and competent doctors take substantial precautions to prevent injuries from occurring.
Medical professionals who are improperly trained, fatigued, under the influence, or simply careless ignore the known risks of forceps use and can harm babies and their mothers. Our Indianapolis forceps injury attorneys are committed to determining the cause of birth injuries and holding negligent doctors responsible.
If you were affected by a forceps injury during birth, contact Wagner Reese to schedule a no-cost consultation. We can be reached via phone at (888) 204-8440, or through our contact form.