Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP

What Birth Injuries Can Be Caused By Improper Use Of Forceps?


A forcep is a medical instrument that is often used when a pregnant mother is having a difficult labor. When a physician believes that the use of forceps will assist the infant in being delivered, they might opt to use it. Although they might be useful, they can often do more harm to the infant than good because of the delicacy that is required when using the forceps.

Forceps are used by being placed at both extremities of an infant’s head that serve to guide them out. When a physician uses a forcep incorrectly or does so with too much force, an infant can suffer severe injuries to their developing skulls and brains. Along with the infant, the mother can also suffer injuries when a forcep is improperly used like lacerations and tears to her bladder and urethra.

A physician should be properly trained in how to use a forcep, and even then, they should use extreme caution when doing so. The Miami birth injury attorneys focus on medical malpractice cases involving mistakes that were performed by medical professionals during an infant’s birth. Improper use of forceps is an error that could be prevented.

Injuries That an Infant Can Sustain From Improper Forcep Use

A baby can endure severe injuries when a medical professional does not properly use a forcep. Some of those injuries include:

  • Damages to the skull like fractures
  • Brachial Plexus
  • Oxygen Deprivation
  • Broken Bones
  • Seizures
  • Caput succedaneum (Scalp swelling)
  • Cephalohematoma (Accumulation of blood below skull)
  • Bells’ palsy (Facial nerves are damaged)
  • Eye injuries
  • Death

The majority of injuries caused by the use of forceps are avoidable when a doctor exercises the standard of care accordingly. The doctor in question can face a lawsuit when they caused an infants harm from improper use of forceps. The argument against the doctor would be negligence.

There are certain situations when forceps should NOT be used. A doctor must be aware of all the moments when they should not even attempt to use a forcep. Some of those moments are:

  • When the physician does not know where the baby’s head is located
  • When the baby is too large
  • When the mother’s pelvis is too small
  • When the baby has a medical condition like bone density problems
  • When the physician does not have experience with using a forcep

If a physician uses a forcep during any of these instances, they did not follow the standard of care.

Serving Victims of Birth Injuries in Miami Area

A number of factors are what will determine where liability will fall in a birth medical malpractice. Along with the physician being liable for an error with a forcep, the hospital can also be to blame if they allowed an unskilled doctor who had no experience with forceps to use it during a procedure. Victims of a forcep mistake need to seek legal action against the responsible party and the lawyers at Percy Martinez Law Firm in Miami can help the victims proceed with their lawsuit.

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