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Baby girl dies following forceps delivery

Michael Becker

Many serious questions remain following a birth that ended in tragedy last month. Ohio residents may have heard that a baby girl died several days after she was born in Texas Dec. 28. It has been reported that the girl’s spinal cord was severed and her skull was crushed during a failed forceps delivery; following the birth injury, she was delivered in an emergency Cesarean section. She survived on life support for a few days, before passing away on New Year’s Day.

The baby’s parents have now said that they plan to sue their obstetrician for medical malpractice, claiming that he should not have attempted a forceps delivery.

The parents have stated that they asked the obstetrician to deliver the baby via C-section, but he refused. The mother reportedly thought a C-section was called for because she was very petite and the fetus was large.

When the woman went into labor, the doctor allegedly resorted to the use of a forceps to pull the baby through the birth canal. The baby’s grandmother has told the media that she heard a popping sound when the forceps came into contact with the baby’s skull, and an emergency C-section was then ordered.

Following the C-section, the baby was transferred to another hospital, where she died a few days later.

In addition to suing the obstetrician, the family is launching a campaign to outlaw forceps deliveries.

The use of a forceps during delivery does present a birth injury risk. Misuse or excessive use of a forceps can result in too much pressure being applied to a baby’s skull, and this can cause skull fractures and brain injuries. Forceps can also injure a baby’s neck.

When a baby is injured during a forceps delivery, it may be important for parents to seek legal counsel to determine whether the injury was caused by a doctor’s negligence. If negligence was involved, it may be wise to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

Source: ABC News, “Funeral Held for Baby Allegedly Killed in Forceps Delivery,” Susan Donaldson James and Gillian Mohney, Jan. 5, 2014

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