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Attorneys Advocating For Newborns Harmed By Birth-Assistance Tools

As birth-assisting tools, vacuums and forceps can be incredibly helpful for physicians during the labor and delivery process, allowing them to safely guide the newborn baby through the birth canal. Unfortunately, these same tools can also cause serious injuries when used improperly – and such injuries can also result in life-altering complications and conditions that continue to impact a child’s development.

At Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys, our lawyers have over 150 years of combined experience helping families navigate the complexities of these cases. We understand how painful and overwhelming it can be to pursue a lawsuit during this difficult time, which is why our highly skilled team will take the burden off your hands and use our considerable resources to advocate for a fair outcome.

How Do These Tools Cause Injuries?

Vaginal labor can be long and difficult, and whenever this is the case, there is an increased risk that the child will suffer serious brain damage or other injuries due to birth trauma. An extremely old delivery tool, forceps resemble a curved set of metal tongs, and they are used to grip the baby’s head and guide them through the birth canal. Many physicians also turn to vacuum extraction for delivery, which applies suction to the baby’s scalp with a metal or a soft cup.

Of course, newborn infants are extremely delicate, and both vacuum extractors and forceps can result in bruising, disfigurement, fractures and internal bleeding. Each tool is also prone to unique errors: While vacuums may exert less force on the infant’s nerves and skull, they are also more strongly associated with hemorrhage and internal complications. It is up to the doctor to draw from their knowledge to protect children from unnecessary risk – and those who do not live up to this care standard, may be held accountable for the family’s financial, physical and emotional losses.

When Is The Use Of Forceps Or Extractors Considered To Be Malpractice?

Not all injuries caused by forceps and vacuum extractors will be lasting and permanent. In order to have a medical malpractice case against your health care provider, you must be able to demonstrate that they violated the standard of care that a reasonable provider would have used in the same situation. You must also show that their failures resulted in serious injuries.

Here are a few ways that medical negligence can result in vacuum and forceps injuries:

  • Applying too much force while using birthing tools
  • Unnecessary delay of C-section procedures
  • Using the wrong tool for the situation at hand
  • Lack of training or dedicated equipment to complete a C-section
  • Failing to monitor the infant’s vital signs during childbirth
  • Using contaminated or defective tools
  • Failing to provide proper care after birth injuries

When we take your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine what went wrong and who was at fault.

How Many Births Require The Assistance Of These Tools?

According to one study published in Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, at least 5% of deliveries in the United States involve forceps or vacuum extractors. These are also called “operative vaginal deliveries.” Use of birth-assisting tools tends to be lower in areas where doctors have better access to medical resources, as C-section procedures take significantly more time (and staff members) to safely execute.

What Are The Most Common Injuries Caused By Birthing Tools?

Common injuries associated with operative vaginal deliveries include:

  • Scalp bleeding and external wounds
  • Hemorrhage (Cephalohematoma)
  • Skull fractures
  • Eye bleeding or loss of vision
  • Neonatal jaundice
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Seizures
  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Brachial plexus injuries or stretching of the nerves behind the neck and shoulders
  • Maternal reproductive and genital injuries

Some of these injuries can be attributed to other causes. But if you suspect malpractice, it is a good idea to discuss your concerns with an experienced lawyer like those at our firm.

Get Started Today With A Free Consultation

Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys is here to expose malpractice and help you recover financial compensation for your child’s lifelong care. Because of our expertise in this field, we are often the most-referred attorneys for complex obstetrical malpractice claims. We have the resources and experience to provide competent, aggressive legal representation.

To discuss your options in a free consultation, call us in Jacksonville at 904-659-9054 or fill out our online contact form.