Birth injuries due to forceps delivery complications should never happen. Hospitals must implement necessary safety measures to ensure preventable medical errors during labor and delivery do not occur. Medical professionals and healthcare facilities must be held accountable when a birth injury was the result of failing to correctly perform a forceps delivery, vacuum extraction, or C-section.
The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Doehrman Buba have spent decades defending the rights of birth injury victims and their families. You need an experienced law firm representing you if you are pursuing a medical malpractice claim against a health care provider, its insurance company, and their lawyers. We can explain what rights you have, the best options available to you, and answer questions you have regarding your situation. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your family’s future without any additional obligation.
Birth Injuries from Vacuum Extraction and Forceps Delivery
The reasons why a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery might be considered include:
- Stalled labor – A labor is considered stalled if during delivery a mother has been pushing for two to three hours and the labor has not progressed. In such cases, a forceps delivery or vacuum extraction may be considered as options to complete the delivery process.
- Problematic heartbeat – If a physician becomes concerned regarding changes to a baby’s heartbeat during labor, then he or she may attempt to speed up the delivery process via a vacuum extractor or forceps delivery.
- Pre-existing medical condition – If the mother has any medical problems, such as a heart condition, her medical provider may seek to limit the amount of time she has to push during labor by employing a forceps delivery or vacuum extraction.
- Baby is in the wrong position – This involves a baby that is positioned with his or her head facing the mother’s abdomen during delivery (breech position) instead of the correct way, which is facing her back.
Generally, forceps delivery or vacuum extraction may not be options due to the following:
- Bleeding or bone disorders – If the baby has a blood condition, such as hemophilia, or a condition that causes his or her bones to be weaker than normal, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, then a vacuum extractor and forceps delivery may not be options for delivery.
- Position of baby – If the position of the baby’s head is not known, the baby’s head still has not moved past the birth canal’s midpoint or the baby’s buttocks, arms, feet, or shoulders are positioned up front as it travels through the birth canal, then neither vacuum extraction nor forceps delivery should be used to deliver the child.
- Baby’s size or the size of the mother’s pelvis – If the baby cannot fit through his or her mother’s pelvis, then neither forceps delivery or vacuum extraction should be used as the delivery method.
- Length of pregnancy – A vacuum extractor should not be used if the mother is 33 weeks pregnant or less.
- Fetal scalp sampling – If the baby has had blood taken from his or her scalp, vacuum extraction should not be used as the delivery method.
Risks associated with vacuum extraction and forceps delivery for mothers:
- Ruptured uterine wall – If this type of injury occurs during labor, there is a risk that the baby could be pushed into his or her mother’s abdominal cavity.
- Anemia – This occurs if there is enough blood loss during the delivery that the mother does not have an adequate amount of healthy red blood cells in her system, which leads to her tissues not receiving enough oxygen.
- Pelvic injury – This can result if a mother’s pelvic ligaments and muscles are weakened during labor to the point that it causes the organs in her pelvic area to drop lower (also known as pelvic organ prolapse).
- Incontinence – Depending on the severity, incontinence can be a short-term or long-term issue.
- Genital tract injury – In some cases, vacuum extraction and forceps delivery can result in tears and other wounds to a mother’s lower genital tract.
Vacuum delivery complications and forceps delivery complications can result in babies suffering:
- Fractured skulls and brain injuries
- Inner bleeding (usually within the skull)
- Shoulder dystocia – This can occur if the baby’s shoulders become stuck as the head is delivered. It can result in a broken collarbone and/or injury to the brachial plexus, which are the nerves that carry signals between the spine and the hands, shoulders, and arms.
- Scalp and facial injuries
- Facial palsy – Weakened facial muscles
- Eye injuries
Over a lifetime, most families are going to need the help that a medical malpractice lawsuit can provide to make sure that they can afford the costs for caring for a child with a birth injury, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy expenses
- Long-term care in home or at a rehabilitation facility
- Prescription medications
- Specialized safety equipment to make your home and vehicles accessible for your child
Free Consultation with Experienced Birth Injury Attorneys in Indianapolis
The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Doehrman Buba have spent years guiding families step-by-step through the legal process of holding medical professionals and hospitals accountable for their negligence. Birth injury cases are unique in that parents will not necessarily know if a medical error caused their child’s injury. This is one reason why, if a parent suspects something is wrong, he or she should seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible.
To learn more about birth injury lawsuits, such as vacuum delivery complications or forceps delivery complications cases, our case results, and how we can help victims and their families, call us today to set up a free consultation.