How can forceps use during birth lead to malpractice?

Childbirth is a miraculous and joyous event, but it can also be fraught with risks, especially with certain medical interventions. Forceps, or large and curved medical tongs, are tools that doctors sometimes use to assist in the delivery of a baby.

While forceps can be life-saving in certain situations, their use also carries significant risks that can lead to birth injury malpractice claims.

Common reasons for usage

Forceps are metal instruments designed to grasp the baby’s head and assist in guiding it through the birth canal during delivery. They are typically used when the baby is in distress, the mother is unable to push effectively or the delivery is taking too long and needs assistance to progress safely.

Risks for the mother

Despite their intended purpose, forceps delivery carries various risks for both the mother and the baby. For the mother, these risks may include severe tears, pelvic floor damage and urinary or fecal incontinence. Additionally, forceps delivery can lead to postpartum hemorrhage, infection and long-term pain or discomfort.

Complications for the baby

For the baby, forceps delivery can result in a range of complications, including facial injuries, skull fractures and nerve damage. In severe cases, forceps delivery can cause brain damage or even death.

Legal implications

When complications arise from forceps delivery, families may seek legal recourse to address the damages incurred. In such cases, medical professionals may be liable for malpractice if they fail to adhere to the appropriate standard of care or if they use forceps negligently, resulting in harm to the mother or baby.

Medical professionals must carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of forceps delivery and take appropriate precautions. By prioritizing patient safety, healthcare providers can reduce the likelihood of injuries from forceps use.