It’s common for doctors to use forceps to aid in delivery. Forceps may be used if labor is not progressing, even as the mother pushes. A doctor could also use forceps if the baby is facing the wrong way when emerging from the birth canal. 

Forceps can also come in handy if there are signs that the baby is struggling and needs to be delivered immediately, or if the mother develops complications. However, inappropriate use of this instrument could result in permanent harm to the child. The damage mainly occurs when a doctor applies excessive force when using forceps. 

Proper placement of forceps during delivery is critical. Any improper placement of the forceps and pressure on the baby’s soft head could lead to life-long injuries that require extensive medical care in the future. 

Forceps Injuries Sometimes Occur Due To Medical Malpractice 

If you have complications when delivering, the medical team should make the best decision that is less risky. However, choosing forceps is often a wrong decision, and can sometimes cause permanent damage to the child. 

In cases where forceps injuries are likely to occur, a C-Section would be a viable option. This is because forceps are likely to cause damage if a baby has a medical condition that affects the strength of their bones. 

Forceps shouldn’t be used if the baby has not descended far enough into the birth canal. Forceps injury could be a result of medical malpractice, especially if your doctor knew that a C-Section would have been less risky under the circumstances. 

4 Birth Injuries Caused By Forceps 

Cerebral palsy 

Even if forceps are considered safe, they could cause brain damage, particularly cerebral palsy. This disorder can affect a child’s balance, movement, and muscle tone. Cerebral palsy can occur if the brain is not developed in a certain area. 

However, cerebral palsy may also occur due to a traumatic head injury during delivery. In about 10 percent of the cases, brain injury is caused by forceps use. Forceps delivery could also cause damage to the baby’s circulatory and breathing system. 

You can notice signs of cerebral palsy in infancy or during your child’s pre-school years. Common signs include abnormal reflexes, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, floppiness of the trunks and arms, and unsteady walking. In some cases, cerebral palsy could lead to deafness, blindness, and epilepsy. 

Infant shoulder dystocia 

This severe birth injury may occur if the baby’s shoulders are stuck during delivery. The child’s head is usually out of the birth canal and the doctors have to deliver the baby quickly. If the doctors don’t correct the baby’s position, the baby may sustain serious injuries. 

Erb’s palsy 

This condition occurs during childbirth due to injuries to the nerves that control the arm. Common symptoms of Erb’s palsy are loss of sensation, arm weakness, and paralysis. The condition might improve or completely go away with time, but some children have permanent complications. 

Nerve damage 

Nerve damage is another common risk of forceps delivery. The use of forceps could cause a loss of movement in the baby’s face. Therefore, the baby’s face could become weak or even flop. Usually, this only occurs on one side of the face. 

The most commonly reported forceps delivery injury is nerve damage. The nerve damage could resolve itself within weeks or months without a need for additional treatment. However, even if the issue resolves itself, there is a risk of the baby developing severe injuries like brain injuries, leading to complications such as cerebral palsy. 

Summing Up 

As a parent, there’s no happier time than the birth of your baby. However, when an emergency occurs, these moments can quickly turn into a scary experience. Many complications can occur during the delivery of your baby and doctors may do everything possible to help deliver your baby. But when they use forceps as a method of delivering your baby, they may cause the birth injuries discussed above.