New Jersey Forceps Delivery Injury Lawyers
Birth Injury Attorneys in Passaic County, New Jersey
Labor is generally divided into three distinct phases, the first of which is further delineated among latent, active, and transition periods. Although the typical birthing process proceeds from contractions, to pushing, to the actual delivery, there are countless intervening variables that may alter the course of childbirth. For instance, if the mother or child is showing signs of distress, if there is an increased risk associated with natural birth, or if the delivery process is simply stalled, obstetricians and other medical professionals may recommend an intervention. Some of the most common forms of intervention include Cesarean section, vacuum extraction, or the use of forceps. Of course, these procedures are highly complex and the slightest error can spell tragic results for mothers and infants alike. When these incidents do occur, the victims are not left to suffer without recourse. Medical malpractice litigation provides those who have been injured as a result of medical negligence with an avenue through which to pursue justice.
At Fronzuto Law Group, our seasoned pediatric and medical malpractice attorneys have the knowledge, resources, and diligence to obtain just compensation for victims and their families across New Jersey. Under the superior leadership of our firm’s founder, Ernest P. Fronzuto, a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney, we approach each case with the utmost attention and care. In fact, we purposefully limit our case load to provide unparalleled representation and support to our clients as we work toward recovering maximum compensation. For example, we recently recovered $3,825,000 on behalf of an infant who suffered an anoxic brain injury after doctors failed to recognize respiratory distress. If you suspect that medical negligence may have contributed to your injuries, or those of a loved one, contact our Passaic County, New Jersey offices today at 973-435-4551. One of our highly knowledgeable lawyers will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with a cost-free consultation.
Forceps Delivery: The Basics
Along with vacuum extraction, the use of forceps is another type of assisted delivery, also known as operative vaginal delivery. The overarching theme among assisted deliveries is the use of a tool, and the help of a physician, to remove the baby from the birth canal. Assisted delivery is a relatively seldom used form of intervention, as it occurs in approximately 3 percent of vaginal deliveries in the U.S., according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The following are some of the most common circumstances that may give rise to a forceps assisted delivery:
- If the baby is positioned facing up, as opposed to down
- If the baby’s heart rate is abnormal
- If the baby is not receiving enough oxygen
- If the labor is not progressing despite the mother’s efforts
- If the mother has a medical condition that raises the risk associated with pushing
When a medical professional chooses to perform a forceps delivery, he or she applies a device that looks like a pair of large spoons or salad tongs to the baby’s head and guides the baby through the birth canal, along with the mother pushing during a contraction.
The Risks of Forceps Assisted Deliveries
In certain cases, the use of forceps is a necessary and advisable intervention, particularly if the second stage of labor fails to progress or if the baby is exhibiting signs of distress and must be delivered immediately. In order for a forceps delivery to be a viable option, the mother’s cervix must be fully dilated, the membranes must have ruptured, and the baby must have descended into the birth canal headfirst. However, there are significant risks to the mother and child in a forceps delivery.
If a forceps delivery is performed inappropriately, the consequences can be devastating. Specifically, this form of intervention is inappropriate if the pregnancy is not at least 34 weeks gestation; if the baby suffers from a bleeding disorder or condition that weakens the bones; if doctors are unsure about the position of the baby’s head; if the baby’s head has not dropped past the center of the birth canal; or if the baby is too large or the mother’s pelvis too small to allow for a normal vaginal delivery.
If the use of forceps is determined to be the best course of action, improper use of forceps can cause severe, permanent injury to the mother or child. Improper placement of the forceps on the baby’s head, excessive pressure, or improper technique in pulling the baby from the birth canal are just some potential delivery errors involving forceps.
Potential Consequences of Forceps Delivery Errors
Errors while using forceps, or the inappropriate use of forceps, can cause trauma for the mother and child. For the child, forceps errors may lead to:
- Brain Damage
- Brain Hemorrhage
- Bleeding inside the skull
- Skull fractures
- Injuries to the scalp or head
- Nerve damage
- Facial deformation
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries and Erb’s Palsy
- Retinal hemorrhages and eye injuries
- Cervical cord injuries
Medical negligence involving forceps can also cause serious complications for the mother, which include: pain in the perineum, genital tract tears or wounds, urinary or fecal incontinence, trouble urinating, bladder or urethra trauma, uterine rupture, and pelvic organ prolapse.
Contact our Essex County NJ Birth Injury Attorneys Today
If you received a forceps assisted delivery and you suspect that medical negligence may have led to any injury for you or your baby, contact Fronzuto Law Group today at 973-435-4551 or toll free at 888-409-0816 for a cost-free consultation. One of our highly experienced birth injury lawyers will provide you with an honest assessment of your potential claim and outline your available legal options.