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Assisted Birthing: Errors that Healthcare Providers Commit

The Becker Law Firm, LPA

An assisted birthing error often results from the use of forceps or vacuum extraction. Birth injuries during delivery can be devastating, and an Elyria birth injury lawyer upholds patients’ rights when they hurt by their healthcare providers.

What situations would necessitate an assisted birth?

One common scenario in which assisted birth may be required is if the baby is in a breech position. Forcing a baby through the birth canal in this position can result in assisted birthing errors like nerve damage to the spine or the risk of the umbilical cord wrapping itself around the neck.

Prolonged labor may require an assisted birth. This can stem from a breech baby, but it also can happen when the uterus isn’t contracting enough or the baby is larger than average.

Assisted birth may be necessary when the baby doesn’t receive enough oxygen. This can be the result of the airway being blocked, placenta separating from the uterus, fluctuations in the mother’s blood pressure, or an infection in either the baby or mother.

How can forceps result in assisted birthing errors?

Forceps are placed on either side of the baby’s head, which assists in pulling him or her out. One way a birth injury during delivery can occur is if they are placed incorrectly.

An example would be placing the forceps over the eye, which could cause injury to it (such as damaging the cornea). Incorrect placement can result in a bruised face or dented forehead.

The OB/GYN should pull the head down the birth canal gently. Using too much force or twisting the head could cause a skull fracture or even brain damage.

If the brain is compressed, it could result in cerebral palsy. The severity will depend on the level of brain damage.

If the face is injured, it could cause damage to the nerves. When it’s severe — such as paralysis — surgery may be required to fix the facial nerves.

How can vacuum extraction result in assisted birthing errors?

Vacuum extraction is done with a suction cup attached to a tube, which is connected to a suction pump. It sticks to the baby’s scalp, allowing the OB-GYN to pull the baby downward.

As in the case of forceps, vacuum extraction must be done correctly in order to prevent injuries. Placing the cup in the wrong area could cause damage to the head or even the brain.

One type of injury that can happen is subgaleal hemorrhage, which is a rupturing of the emissary veins. This could be life-threatening.

It can also cause cephalohematoma, which is a collection of blood under the baby’s scalp. It may increase the risk of developing jaundice.

An intracranial hemorrhage, which happens inside the baby’s skull, is another injury for which an Elyria birth injury lawyer can help a family file a claim. This condition could deprive the baby of oxygen, causing brain cells to die.

Assisted birth is sometimes necessary, but if it isn’t done properly, it could result in serious harm. To learn if injuries caused by forceps or vacuum extraction were the result of negligence, it may help to consult an Elyria birth injury lawyer at The Becker Law Firm.

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