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Disfigurement from Birthing Forceps and Vacuum Extraction

The Becker Law Firm, LPA

Birthing forceps and vacuum extraction sometimes are necessary when a delivery becomes complicated. Unfortunately, the use of these medical instruments can cause a birth injury. This is especially true if used incorrectly.

If your child was seriously injured during labor and delivery, and you believe it was caused by medical negligence, you may want to seek legal counsel. A birth delivery malpractice attorney will evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case to determine if you have a valid claim.

When Birthing Forceps and Vacuum Extraction Cause Disfigurement

A newborn’s fragile body can be prone to injuries when medical tools are used to assist a delivery. Forceps help to grasp the baby’s head and pull the body out. Unfortunately, injuries to the face and head are common with forceps. While many of these injuries will heal, others could cause disfigurement.

One of the disfiguring injuries that can occur is a misshapen head, sometimes from using too much force when extracting the infant from the birth canal. Damage to nerves in the face can result, which causes drooping on the affected side.

Lacerations and cuts to the face and head are also potential injuries. When severe enough, these scars could be permanent.

Vacuum extraction can cause disfiguring injuries. Outward damage may just be one problem; newborns also can develop fluid or blood in the scalp. Severe damage may result in life-threatening complications and even death.

Birthing forceps and vacuum extraction are commonly linked to an injury called shoulder dystocia. This occurs when the brachial plexus nerves are damaged. If the arm becomes paralyzed, it could cause Erb’s palsy. The arm may become weaker, with growth in the affected limb being stunted.

Other Complications of Birthing Forceps and Vacuum Extraction

Disfiguring injuries aren’t the only complications that these medical devices cause. Even when used correctly, other types of injuries can occur. But when a medical professional uses the wrong technique, the chance of inflicting harm is even greater.

The following are other types of complications that can happen when birthing forceps and vacuum extraction are used:

  • facial bruising;
  • skull fracture;
  • maternal injuries (bladder, uterus);
  • intracranial bleeding;
  • fractures; and
  • spinal cord injuries.

Compensation Stemming from a Birth Injury

When injuries are preventable and the result of medical negligence, you could be eligible to receive compensation. This could include the medical costs you have incurred, including future expenses if the injuries are long-term.

When severe injuries prevent you from returning to work so you can care for your child, lost income may be recoverable. Additionally, you could be entitled to compensation that covers pain and suffering, mental anguish, reduced quality of life and more.

It will be important to discuss your case with a birth delivery attorney. We will take the time to analyze the details and determine if you have the right to seek legal action. Additionally, we will consider who may be held liable and if the cause was negligent use of birthing forceps and vacuum extraction. Call (440) 252-4399 today.

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