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Forceps, Vacuum Extractors And Possible Problems

Many deliveries of babies are accomplished through the use of forceps or vacuum extractors. Such deliveries (known as operative deliveries) pose special risks for both baby and mother. Forceps can lacerate the baby’s face or cause severe injury to the mother. Both forceps and vacuum extractors can cause brain bleeds, leading to severe brain injury.

Because of the substantial risks posed by operative deliveries, doctors must exercise reasonable care when proceeding with delivery by vacuum extractor or forceps. When doctors fail to use reasonable care in performing operative deliveries, and the baby or mother is injured, a malpractice claim may arise.

How Forceps And Vacuum Extractor Injuries Occur

If you or your child has suffered injuries from forceps and vacuum extractions or other medical equipment, the lawyers at Garau Germano, P.C., may be able to help you. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience in pursuing medical malpractice claims arising from operative deliveries. We can thoroughly investigate your claim and will aggressively pursue it if you or your child’s birth injury was caused by medical negligence.

Malpractice claims from the use of forceps or vacuum extractors may arise because of the physician’s failure to obtain his patient’s informed consent to the procedure. The doctor has an obligation to advise his patient of the risks of and alternatives to vacuum or forceps delivery. Those alternatives may include delivery by cesarean section or vaginal delivery. If the mother is not properly apprised of the risks of delivery by forceps or vacuum extraction, she cannot give her informed consent for the procedure.

Malpractice claims in operative deliveries may also arise because the operative delivery was not indicated. Delivery by forceps or vacuum extraction is only appropriate under certain circumstances. Indications for operative delivery include maternal exhaustion, fetal distress, and a prolonged second stage of labor (the pushing phase). Operative deliveries are not appropriate simply as a means to speed a delivery along.

Additionally, a doctor performing an operative delivery may commit malpractice by misusing or misapplying the delivery instrument. The forceps may be applied improperly, causing lacerations to the infant’s face, skull fractures or brain bleeds. The physician applying the vacuum extractor may attempt too many pulls with the extractor or use too much pressure in applying the extractor. Again, improper use of the vacuum can result in brain bleeds causing permanent and severe brain damage.

Contact Our Firm Today

Our attorneys have successfully pursued multiple malpractice claims arising from forceps injury or vacuum extraction mistakes at birth. To learn more about how we can help you and your family following an injury caused by an operative delivery, contact us online or call us at 317-978-9973.