Denver Forceps and Vacuum Extraction Injury Attorneys
We Represent Children Injured by Birth-Assisting Tools
Most expectant mothers hope that their childbirth experience will happen naturally and with just a few pushes. Natural vaginal birth is usually the preferred option. However, during a natural birth, some assistance may be necessary.
If a baby is showing signs of distress, like an abnormal heart rate, birth-assisting tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors may be used to help deliver the baby more quickly. These tools can move the baby through the birth canal, but if used improperly or in an uncalled-for situation, they can cause major trauma to the baby, ranging from brain swelling to skull fractures and brain damage.
If your child was injured due to incompetent use of birth-assisting tools, please contact the top Denver birth injury attorneys at Leventhal & Puga, P.C. We have handled hundreds of these cases across the United States, and know how to best go about getting your family compensation from the negligent medical provider. Call (877) 433-3906 for a no-cost initial consultation.
How Forceps Work
Forceps are a metal instrument that looks similar to tongs. Forceps hold the baby’s skull while putting enough pressure to help the baby pass through the birth canal. When a mother is pushing, a doctor can use forceps along with her contractions to help pull out the baby.
Forceps are safer for the delivery of preterm babies. Because their blood vessels are not fully developed, a vacuum should not be used.
How Vacuum Extraction Works
A vacuum extractor is a device that applies suction to a baby’s head. The suction, as well as the doctor guiding the handle of the device, helps pull the baby out.
A vacuum extraction is typically safer for a baby than a forceps extraction, as it involves less traction to the baby’s head and neck. A vacuum extractor is also easier to insert and apply to the baby’s head, and generally does not require as much anesthesia for the mother. Because the vacuum extractor uses less traction, there is also less chance of damaging the mother’s tissue.
Why Birth-Assisting Tools Can Be Dangerous
Not every birth progresses as it should. If your doctor believes that you need assistance delivering the baby, he might decide to use forceps or a vacuum to help things along. If the doctor has good technique and is experienced in using these tools, there shouldn’t be any major complications.
However, these tools run serious risks. Forceps can compress a baby’s head, causing skull fracture, ruptured blood vessels, and swelling; and forceps can also be used with too much traction, twisting the baby’s neck and causing brachial plexus injuries. In addition, forceps have been known to cause permanent facial paralysis, such as in the case of actor Sylvester Stallone. Damage to the head can also cause strokes or cerebral palsy.
Vacuum extraction can increase the risk of shoulder dystocia, a dangerous labor complication in which the child’s shoulder becomes stuck on the mother’s pubic bone after the head has already emerged. Vacuum extraction can also cause skull fracture, serious bleeding or swelling in the skull, and lacerations. Neonatal jaundice is also more likely to develop in babies who have been delivered by vacuum extraction, especially if there is swelling in the scalp.
Birth-assisting tools can also harm the mother, who might experience damage to her bladder, vagina, or rectum.
After a Birth Injury, Contact a Premier Team
Forceps and vacuum extractors are devices that can be helpful in the birth process. But if used by an unskilled doctor or in a negligent manner, they can become extremely detrimental to the health of the baby and the mother. A physician must know which situations call for an assisted birth and which call for a C-section. They must not put their patient at needless risk.
If you or your baby was injured due to the use of vacuum extractors or forceps, please give the top-ranked trial lawyers at Leventhal & Puga, P.C., a call. If your child is now suffering a condition like cerebral palsy due to a doctor’s negligence, speak with a birth injury attorney to ensure a situation like that doesn’t happen to anyone else and to receive the compensation that you and your child deserve. We take medical malpractice very seriously, and believe that medical professionals should answer for any harm they cause. At Leventhal & Puga, P.C., our clients come first. Call our Denver office at (877) 433-3906 for your no-charge initial consultation.
- Forceps Delivery - Mayo Clinic
- Vacuum-Assisted Delivery: Do You Know the Risks? - Healthline
- Operative Vaginal Delivery - Merck Manual
- Assisted Delivery with Forceps - MedlinePlus