Forceps and Vacuum Extraction Birth Injuries in Georgia
If Your Child Was Injured During Delivery, You Deserve Compensation
Delivering an infant in a timely manner is vital for the health of both the child and the mother. Unfortunately, sometimes a vaginal delivery is strained or prolonged. In such cases, a doctor may choose to use medical instruments to help pull the child out of the birth canal. This is referred to as "assisted delivery."
Two commonly utilized assisted-delivery tools are forceps and vacuum extractors. Use of such tools requires great care by specially trained medical personnel, otherwise the baby can suffer serious and permanent injuries. If a physician’s improper use of an assisted-delivery tool resulted in birth injuries to your child, you are entitled to compensation for the long-term care resulting from those injuries.
To find out more about your legal rights and options, call the experienced birth injury attorneys at Atlanta’s Grant Law Office. Dial (404) 995-3955 or toll-free (866) 249-5513 for a free case evaluation.
How Forceps and Vacuum Extractors Work
Forceps are a two-part instrument resembling salad tongs. They are inserted into the birth canal and gently clamped around the infant’s head. The doctor then uses the forceps to pull the baby out through the birth canal.
A vacuum extractor is a skull-sized suction cup that is attached to the infant’s head and made secure through the use of a small, electric pump. The doctor then uses the device to gently pull the infant out of the birth canal.
Dangers of Assisted Deliveries
Forceps and vacuum extractors can be helpful when used correctly, but when used incorrectly, in the wrong situation, or by untrained physicians, they can cause serious injuries, including:
- Intracranial hemorrhages (bleeding within the skull)
- Fetal stroke (blood clots forming inside the infant’s blood vessels, ultimately resulting in a stroke)
- Cerebral contusions (when too much pressure is used, the infant’s brain tissue may become bruised, resulting in possible mental impairment)
- Brain compression (using too much pressure with assisted-delivery tools can alter an infant’s blood flow and result in brain injury)
- Skull fractures (improper use of assisted-delivery tools can fracture an infant’s skull and cause permanent brain damage)
- Cerebral palsy (caused by lack of oxygen or brain damage during childbirth)
- Disfigurement (misshapen head, scars, damaged facial nerves)
- Spinal cord injuries (from pulling too hard on the baby’s head)
- Brachial plexus injuries (from too much traction on the baby’s neck, damaging the brachial plexus nerve)
Symptoms of Potential Vacuum Extractor and Forceps Injury
Signs of vacuum extractor or forceps injury are evident within the first few hours, days, weeks, or months of birth. If you notice any of these symptoms, have your child checked out by a pediatrician:
- Apnea (breathing stops, especially during sleep)
- Lethargy (sluggishness)
- Having trouble nursing or feeding
- Red rings around the baby’s eyes
Who May Be Liable for an Assisted Delivery Injury?
Depending on the exact circumstances, a number of parties may be held liable for your child’s birth injury, including:
- The physician
- Hospital staff
- The hospital or clinic where the procedure was performed
- The designer and manufacturer of the assisted-delivery device
- The midwife
When your child has suffered a serious birth injury, you’ll be facing a lifetime of providing special care for him or her. This can be expensive, and it doesn’t include the emotional toll the injury will take on you and your family. To get adequate compensation for the hardships you face, contact the seasoned Atlanta birth injury attorneys at Grant Law Office for a free consultation. Call (404) 995-3955 or toll-free (866) 249-5513. If we can help your child, we will.