Using Forceps May Lead to Fewer Birthing Injuries

Illinois birth injuries which ultimately lead to a birth defect lawsuit are usually ones that occur just before the child is actually born. This usually makes the situations seem particularly tragic in that a life is forever changed in the blink of an eye. In many of these situations a baby had developed entirely normal and was just waiting to enter the world completely healthy. Yet, because of some mistake, lapse in judgment, or unreasonable delay, the child develops an injury that forever alters their life. Those families that are forced to deal with these problems often feel a sense of regret, thinking that their loved one developed serious problems that could and should have been prevented.

It goes without saying that work should be done to make these injuries as rare as possible. Fortunately, many medical researchers are working to do just that. Seemingly every day there is new information that is released revealing new information about what things may or may not contribute to this harm during childbirth. For example, Reuters last week published a story about new researcher which suggests forceps use may be unfairly going out of style. Specifically, use of forceps may help prevent brain injuries, at least when compared to alternatives. When a difficult childbirth situation exists, the medical professional usually has a range of ways in which he or she can handle the situation. The doctor can chose to use forceps, a vacuum pump, or may perhaps decide that a C-section is necessary.

Recently, out of those three choices, forceps use has been losing ground, as C-section rates have risen considerably, and vacuum pumps are used more than forceps. New research suggests these trends may not be wise. More brain injuries may be caused by the lessening use of forceps. Researchers out of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are questioning vacuum pump and C-section use, claiming that forceps actually lead to fewer child brain injuries when compared to the others. One doctor involved said that the trend away from forceps use was confusing to begin with, because there never was much evidence suggesting that these alternative methods were safer in most emergency circumstances.

The latest research which involved the analysis of 400,000 live births in first time mothers suggests the opposite might be true. Out of that group, deliveries involving forceps resulted in forty five percent fewer infant brain injuries when compared with vacuum pump and C-section births. The brain injuries in question, when arising in infants, are most often caused by seizures which are less common when forceps birth occur. The seizures are usually caused by prolonged oxygen deprivation. Forceps often allow the birth to happen quicker, meaning that a child who has oxygen deprivation problem receives emergency medical intervention much sooner than often occurs in vacuum pump delivers. However, a different kind of brain injury resulting in head bleeding (subdural hematoma) was slightly less common when C-sections were performed.

At the end of the day, those involved in this latest research project suggest that it is incumbent upon patients to work with their doctor to plan ahead for these decisions. They advise expectant mothers and their families to talk with their doctor ahead of time so that if an emergency birth is needed there is no question about what steps should be taken. Unfortunately, many times there is confusion at times of emergency, leading medical providers to make mistakes or delay. Those problems often lead to permanent damage that cannot be undone and will forever influence the life of the new child.

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