When used properly, a forceps delivery can protect the safety and health of a child, but sometimes they can lead to long-term damage to a newborn. A medical care provider who is negligent in their use of forceps can cause permanent damage to the vulnerable body of a young child.
This can leave lasting damage to their nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. Find out how forceps can harm a newly born child and how to determine if yours is a victim.
What Are Forceps?
Forceps are metal tongs designed for medical use, often in the case of births. Forceps are heavily dependent on their user to carefully control them and can easily harm an infant when used improperly. There are over 700 different types of forceps that your medical provider might use during birth. Here are some of the most common:
- Simpson forceps
- Elliot forceps
- Piper’s forceps
- Kielland forceps
- Wrigley’s forceps
Each type of forceps will have a slightly different shape and use case. This latter part is vital, because a medical professional who improperly uses medical equipment may be liable for any harm they visit on a patient. If the person delivering your child uses forceps, be sure to note what type they used for future reference should your child display developmental problems.
Why Are Forceps Used For Deliveries?
Forceps may be used for deliveries for several different scenarios, each of which can pose a threat to a mother and child. A baby may come out with just the top of their head showing. A mother with an underlying health issue, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may benefit from the use of forceps during delivery. A birth that has stopped progressing could also leave a child vulnerable to asphyxiation, making it necessary for doctors to use forceps to extract the infant.
How Are Forceps Used in a Birth?
Forceps are often used to assist in the delivery of an infant who has become stuck in the birth canal. A medical professional will typically insert the forceps into the birth canal and grab hold of the part of the child’s head. The pressure is then exerted on the forceps to secure a hold on the child, and they are physically pulled along the birth canal from the mother.
What Are the Side Effects of a Forceps Birth?
A forceps birth can have numerous side-effects on a child. Many of them may be relatively minor and can clear up on their own, indicating no lasting damage to your child’s body. However, some indications that a child suffered a permanent injury may include the following lingering indicators:
- Facial injuries or palsy
- Bone fractures
- Erb’s palsy
- Bruising or trauma to the eye
- Cerebral palsy
It’s vital to monitor the health of your child if they’ve been delivered by forceps. Some of their injuries may not become apparent until they are old enough to communicate with you. A poorly-executed forceps delivery could leave a child with lasting developmental problems and long-term medical expenses, as well as a lower quality of life overall.
Forceps can be a useful tool that may save your child from a problem during their delivery while also protecting the life of the other. However, forceps are blunt instruments and can cause lasting damage to an infant when used improperly. Taking the steps to monitor your child’s health if they’ve been delivered via forceps can help you detect any long-term health issues they may have as a result. This can better position you to obtain compensation for them and their medical care should it be necessary.
About the Author
Katherine Webre is a passionate writer with years of experience in legal. She has dedicated her career to represent the most vulnerable among us, children who have suffered severe injustice. Beyond legal action, Katherine also takes up the pen to raise awareness and inform audiences about birth injuries. By sharing her expertise, she hopes to empower people to act against any prejudice and works as a collaborative editor for Birth Injury Lawyer.