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Birth Injuries Caused by Improper Use of Forceps

The birth of a child should be one of the happiest and exciting times in a new parent’s life. However, this excitement can be overshadowed by birth injuries caused by the negligence of medical professionals. Unfortunately, birth injuries are all too common. According to birth injury statistics, an average of 28 thousand infants are born with a birth injury each year. Among some of the most common injuries are head and brain traumas, which take place when the infant’s skull is subjected to too much — or improperly placed — pressure.

One of the leading causes of head and brain trauma in new-born infants is the improper use of forceps by medical professionals. Forceps are a birth-assisting tool, typically used by physicians when a mother cannot push a baby out on her own during delivery. However, the tools are seen by many obstetricians as so risky that many no longer use them. Many potential complications could arise with the use of forceps.

For the mother, these complications include:

  • Lacerations and tears in the lower genital tract
  • Fecal and urinary incontinence
  • Anemia
  • Injuries to the bladder
  • Injuries to the urethra
  • Perineum pain

For the Infant, these complications include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Skull fractures
  • Hemorrhaging in the skull and brain
  • Bruising and swelling in the skull and brain
  • Seizures
  • Facial injuries or facial palsy

Sadly, there are many reported cases of infant fatalities due to the improper use of forceps. According to a conclusive study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, researchers found that forceps are “associated with increased rates of severe perinatal morbidity and mortality.”

Contact a New York Forcep Birth Injury Lawyer

If a doctor or attending nurse was negligent or careless in the use of forceps during delivery, both the mother and infant are at risk of serious injury. If someone close to you was harmed by the use of forceps during delivery, contact the New York birth injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP right away. We will be ready to discuss your case during a free, no-obligation consultation when you call (212) 779-0057.


Birth injuries: Which are the most common, and why do they occur?

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about being a new parent is becoming a new parent. Many women have described that giving birth is an experience unlike any other, filled with joy, happiness, and of course, a reasonable amount of pain. However, giving birth can be hazardous to the health of both mother and baby if the medical professionals attending the birth do not provide an adequate standard of care.

Infants are extremely vulnerable during delivery, and in some tragic cases, the negligence of healthcare professionals can result in birth injuries that can have a lasting impact on the baby’s life and the lives of their family members. 

Ten Most Commonly Reported Birth Injuries

 According to a report from the Birth Injury Guide (BIG), 28 thousand babies are born with a birth injury per year — that equates to roughly 3 babies per hour. The ten most common types of birth injuries include:

  • Brachial Plexus Palsy (Erb’s Palsy) – paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the arm’s main upper group of nerves
  • Bone fractures – the clavicle is the most commonly fractured bone, followed by the humerus, femur, and skull
  • Cephalohematoma – damaged vessels between the skull and the inner layers of skin, resulting in the pooling of blood
  • Caput succedaneum – similar to a cephalohematoma, this injury is a collection of subdermal fluid, caused by too much pressure on the baby’s head during delivery
  • Perinatal asphyxia – when a child doesn’t breath normally just before, during, or after birth, often resulting in limpness, silence, and a blue skin-tone
  • Intracranial hemorrhage – a type of bleeding that happens inside the skull, caused by a blood vessel in the brain that has leaked or ruptured
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage – when one or more blood vessels in the baby’s eye breaks, resulting in the appearance of blood spots over the whites of the eye
  • Facial paralysis – loss of facial movement due to nerve damage during delivery
  • Spinal cord injuries – these kinds of injuries can happen if a doctor strains the child’s neck by twisting, pulling, or using tools to remove the baby from the birth canal
  • Cerebral palsy – the result of brain injuries that affect the child’s ability to control motor functions

Unfortunately, too many mothers have had to deal with cases of birth injury. According to BIG, “Close to 50% of all birth injuries are potentially avoidable by identification and planning for obstetrical risk factors.”

Contact a New York Birth Injury Attorney

Hach & Rose, LLP represents families of infants who suffered severe birth injuries in New York. Our understanding and knowledgeable team will be here to provide you with the support and qualified legal representation you need and deserve. We’ll be here to help answer your questions and aggressively seek justice on behalf of your child.


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