Injuries that occur during the birth of a new baby are sometimes unavoidable due to complications that arise during the labor and delivery process. In other cases, however, life-altering birth injuries occur due to the negligence of doctors or other medical personnel. Injuries that occurred during deliveries utilizing assistive birthing instruments, such as forceps injury or vacuum extraction injury may be due to medical negligence or blameless birth complications.
Medical malpractice attorneys at the Montero Law Center can help you determine if you are eligible for damages to pay for your child’s future medical needs, as well as pain and suffering, based on your situation.
What are assistive birthing instruments?
Assistive birthing instruments, sometimes known as assisted delivery devices, aid delivery by allowing the doctor to guide the baby through the birth control. They work by gripping the head and giving the doctor a way to gently pull on the infant. Forceps and vacuum extractors are the devices most commonly used for this purpose.
While some deliveries necessitate the use of assistive instruments, both forceps and vacuum extraction instruments have inherent risks that cannot be overlooked. Improper use of these devices can intensify these risks, and this often constitutes negligence on the part of the doctor.
What type of birth injuries occur due to assisted delivery devices?
While they are sometimes necessary, a wide variety of serious, using forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery can cause life-altering injuries. These include:
- Cranial injuries including subgaleal hematomas and intracranial hemorrhaging
- Nerve injuries, especially to the brachial plexus — affecting movement in the arm, hand and fingers — and facial nerves
- Broken bones, including skull fractures and clavicular dislocations
- Bruising on the head and face that could signal significant hemorrhaging
These injuries can occur because of excessive pressure, incorrect placement, incorrect strength, or too many attempts, among other reasons.
Do I have a viable birth injury claim?
In many cases, birth injuries occur without negligence on the part of the doctor or other hospital staff. Complications in labor and delivery are fairly common, even under the oversight of a well-trained, competent obstetrician.
When the situation calls for the use of an assistive birthing instrument, a competent doctor will weigh the benefits against the risks before deciding to proceed. At the same time, to use the device in the proper way, a doctor, at the very least, must:
- Be trained on the use of the device
- Understand and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for placement, force to be used, and other factors
- Alert those involved in the care of the baby that the device has been used
- Ensure the nursery or neonatal intensive care staff understands the signs of complications
Not following these rules may point to negligence on the part of the doctor. A trained attorney can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case to determine if you should file a birth injury suit.
How can I get help?
If we believe that negligence played a role in your child’s birth injury, the Montero Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale can help you file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or other medical practitioners or against the hospital where the child was born. Call us today at (888) 459-0529 to schedule an appointment.