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A forceps delivery can cause a serious birth injury

Expectant Pittsburgh parents are often excited about the upcoming birth of their child. They spend months planning the new baby's room, buying clothing and going over a birth plan. Expectant parents don't want to think about what would happen if the delivery process goes wrong, but occasionally birth injuries do occur. When a doctor uses forceps during delivery, for example, the baby may suffer an injury.

Forceps are a medical device that is used infrequently during a vaginal delivery. The forceps look like salad tongs and the doctor applies them to the baby's head to help guide them out. There are some circumstances where a forceps delivery may be necessary. This can include if the labor isn't progressing or if the mother is pushing for an extended period of time but no progress has been made. Also, if there is a problem with the baby's heartbeat and immediate delivery is needed. Forceps might also be used if a baby's head is posterior, or facing up, which can make it difficult to deliver.

When a forceps delivery is an option, a C-section is also an option. There are many risks that are involved with a forceps delivery and some of these can cause some serious injuries to both the mother and baby. The mother can suffer from tears in the genital tract, uterine rupture, difficulty urinating and injuries to the bladder. A baby can suffer from serious injuries including facial injuries, a skull fracture, seizures, internal bleeding and even death.

If a family believes a forceps delivery caused a serious birth injury they may want to discuss their concerns with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. Compensation may be available for pain and suffering, medical expenses and other damages.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Forceps delivery," accessed on March 17, 2015

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