Unwanted Intrusion with Forceps Leads to Birth Injury and Lawsuit

No mother wishes for a traumatic birth. During pregnancy families expecting a new addition understand that there are risks with every birth and that it may involve stress, worry, and pain. However, no family foresees that the birth will descend into an emergency situation where a child’s life or a mother’s life is in jeopardy. Unfortunately, far too many families have that reality thrust upon them. Our Illinois birth injury lawyers appreciate that it is at those moments when doctors and entire medical teams are most at risk of making a costly medical error that leads to long-term harm for the mother or child.

The law does not demand that doctors beat the odds or guarantee a family a perfect outcome. Of course medical teams can only do their best when dealing with these often stressful situations and trying to perform all known maneuvers in a safe way to avoid birth injuries. Yet, the law does demand that the team not provide inadequate care at these times. Traumatic births always present the risk of harm, but it is unacceptable for those risks to be magnified because medical professionals fail to take reasonable care in those crucial moments.

This is perhaps most evidence when children are hurt while doctors fail to properly utilize (or fail to utilize at all) emergency techniques to get a child delivered immediately. That was at issue in a birth injury lawsuit that was recently decided and discussed by The Star. The article explains how an appeals court recently upheld a judgment against an obstetrician who apparently caused significant damage to a young child as a result of his unwarranted intrusion with forceps during the boy’s birth.

The mother went into labor with her second child. The labor had proceeded for a short while when the doctors surprisingly decided to use forceps to try to have the child born quickly. The family was unclear why the doctor made the decision to use forceps because neither the child nor mother was in fetal distress. Records indicate that the mother could have been asked to push longer and the baby could likely have been born without any intrusion. She also never gave proper consent to the use of the tool.

Unfortunately, the forceps use ended up causing significantly harm. According to the court the forceps procedure caused a compression in the child’s umbilical cord which led to oxygen deprivation. As a result, the child was born severely brain-damaged. An emergency C-section eventually had to be performed to get the child out of the womb.

The doctor eventually argued that he made the decision to use the forceps because of the position of the fetus. However, the court disagreed that the child’s location should have reasonable led the doctor to reach the conclusion that the forceps were needed. In addition, the court further agreed that the manner of the forceps procedure was sloppy in performance, leading to the harm.

Our Chicago birth injury lawyers are very familiar with injuries caused by forceps. Unfortunately, when doctors fail to exercise proper care in their use, the consequences can be severe. It is particularly frustrating when, as in this case, the use of the forceps itself was unwarranted.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Using Forceps May Lead to Fewer Birth Injuries

Medical Malpractice & Birth Injuries

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