Doctors, nurses, midwives, and other childbirth medical specialists have an array of tools at their disposal to aid in ensuring babies are born safely. While the vast majority of deliveries do go smoothly, sometimes urgent intervention is needed. Delivering mothers have no choice but to put their faith in their attending doctor’s skill and knowledge.
Tragically, not all doctors are as educated or dedicated to their patients’ well-being as they should be. And even when a mistake is just that – an accident – the results can be devastating. One kind of tool that has the potential to cause great harm to both mother and child during delivery is forceps. Forceps look like a large pair of tongs that are meant to fit around a child’s head to help guide them out of the birth canal. While forceps save lives, when used incorrectly, they can cause several types of maternal injuries.
How Can Forceps Hurt a Mother During Delivery?
While forceps injuries are generally well understood in children, mothers can also be badly injured as well. Injuries that a mother may sustain include, but are not limited to:
- Vaginal tears
- Rectal tears
- Uterine rupture
- Blood clots
- Injuries to the bladder or other nearby organs
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Pain long after childbirth
Both internal and external vaginal injuries can become infected, which can quickly progress to sepsis if not treated quickly. Sepsis is a whole-body, life-threatening infection that can cause organ failure and even death.
When Should Forceps Be Used?
Doctors must use their medical experience and best judgment when deciding whether to use forceps. Although different doctors may make slightly different decisions, situations in which forceps are commonly used include:
- The baby begins to show signs of fetal distress
- Prolonged labor
- Maternal exhaustion
- Maternal health conditions, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or heart disease
Meet with a Chicago, IL Maternal Injuries Lawyer
While tools like forceps can potentially be lifesaving when used with care, under the wrong circumstances, they can cause serious damage and even death to a mother during childbirth. If you or someone you love has been injured by incorrect forceps use or any other cause during birth, call the assertive Cook County maternal injuries lawyers with Birth Injury Law Alliance, Ltd.. We have experience successfully litigating and negotiating many different kinds of birth injury lawsuits and will give your case the attention it deserves. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at 312-462-4200.