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Ohio Birth Injuries Increased Risks When Vacuum Cups, Forceps Utilized

Michael Becker

The Cochran Library – a publication of an international organization called the Cochran Collaboration that evaluates medical research studies – recently reviewed a number of studies on two common birth implements: vacuum cups and forceps.

Both implements are common in the United States and Europe and help doctors move along slow deliveries or deliveries in which the baby may be at risk. They can also help a mother avoid an emergency Cesarean section and risks associated with such as procedure including heavy blood loss, infection, blood clots, nausea, and a possible trip to the NICU for the baby.

Lead author of The Cochran Library article, Fidelia O’Mahony, MD, determined that metal vacuum cups are more successful than plastic vacuum cups, and forceps tend to be used after vacuum cups failed.

However, both vacuum cups and forceps come with their own set of potential problems.

Baby Delivery Risks Associated with Vacuum Cups

Plastic vacuum cups are the preferred implement in the United States over metal vacuum cups because, although more effective, the metal cups may lacerate a newborn’s scalp. This is especially problematic for mothers with Hepatitis or HIV. Vacuum cups may also cause subgaleal hemorrhage, hypovalemia, pallor, or a falling hemocrit in newborns.

Birth Injury Risks Associated with Forceps

Fewer neonatal injuries occur with forceps than with vacuum cups, but there are greater risks for the mother. Forceps may cause vaginal tearing and trauma, post-birth incontinence, the use of anesthesia during the birth, and the risk of emergency Cesarean section.

It is important that expectant families know and understand the risks involved with vacuum cups and forceps so, in the event of their use, they are well-informed of the complications that may occur.

Contact a Cleveland Birth Injury Attorney

If you feel you have grounds for a birth injury lawsuit, it’s important to speak with an experienced Cleveland birth injury litigation lawyer to assess legal recourse available.

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