For many expecting parents, the possibility of your child suffering a birth injury is alarming. But this happens more often than you might think. As many as 8 out of every 1,000 children born in the United States suffer an injury at birth. Unfortunately, all too many of these are avoidable. When a doctor uses tools to assist in the delivery, the risk of birth injury increases dramatically. Today, we’ll focus on how forceps delivery can cause birth injury.
Bruising and Forceps Marks
Let’s begin with the mildest of all injuries associated with forceps deliveries: bruising and forceps marks. When a doctor uses excess force with their tools, it may result in bruising or other temporary marks where the forceps grasped the baby. While these almost always go away with time, they do indicate that the doctor might not have used an appropriate level of caution.
In your typical forceps delivery, the doctor uses the tool to grab onto the baby’s head. Without extreme caution and skill, they may end up using excess force or grasping incorrectly. Either of these blunders can result in facial paralysis of the baby.
Facial paralysis is easily among the most common birth injuries. You might notice an asymmetrical smile, or difficulties fully blinking. Fortunately, it often resolves on its own in a matter of days. But in case it does not, your child will require further medical attention.
In other circumstances, the difficulty during childbirth is not so much getting the child’s head through the birth canal as their shoulder. When this occurs, a doctor may attempt to yank the baby during forceps delivery. If they do so too carelessly, they may end up damaging the nerves around the baby’s shoulders. In severe cases, they may suffer permanent paralysis in one or both arms. Sometimes, however, physical therapy can dramatically mitigate the impact of brachial palsy.
A ‘hematoma’ is the medical term for when blood builds up in unusual quantities surrounding the brain. When a negligent doctor grasps a baby’s head too tightly, they run the risk of rupturing the emissary veins. In this situation, known as a subgaleal hematoma, the baby’s head may noticeably swell up. At its worst, this could result in irreversible brain damage.
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The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements. Please visit our website, www.410thefirm.com, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.