Counsel for Mothers and Children Injured by Obstetrical Forceps

West Virginia medical malpractice lawyers assist families in negligent birth injury cases

When a baby is about to be born, but is not in the proper position for normal delivery, the doctor may use obstetrical forceps to maneuver it into position to avoid the need for a Caesarian section (C-section). Used properly to reposition a baby in the birth canal, forceps have spared many mothers the discomfort and possible complications of surgery. They have also spared numerous incorrectly positioned babies the risk of trauma from uterine contractions. Used carelessly, however, they can cause catastrophic injury to both mother and child.

Paulson & Nace, PLLC is a family owned and managed law firm, well-known and highly acclaimed in West Virginia for our work with victims of medical malpractice. As members of a family, we are keenly aware of the emotional and financial effects that birth injuries can have on emotions and finances. If you or your baby has been injured because of careless or incompetent forceps use during delivery, let our team of qualified West Virginia birth injury attorneys protect your interests and your child’s.

The risks of forceps misuse to mothers and children

The idea of using a special instrument to turn a baby in a better position isn’t new. The first forceps-assisted delivery took place in the late 1500s. In the centuries since, “instrument births” have become an integral part of obstetric practice. The Mayo Clinic describes modern obstetrical forceps as resembling large salad tongs. The scoop-like blades are curved to fit around a baby’s head. When locked in place the instrument allows the doctor to position the baby properly. Successful use of obstetrical forceps during delivery requires skill, patience, and steady hands. If used before the mother is fully dilated and in labor, or when the baby is too high in the birth canal, the forceps may injure the mother’s bladder or bowel, or may cause uterine tears that can affect her ability to have more children.

Forceps birth injuries to the baby range from the mild and transient to the permanently debilitating, including:

  • Bruises and Lacerations. Forceps marks on the face and head usually heal within a week, but occasionally permanent disfiguration occurs.
  • Corneal Injury. Forceps-related damage to the newborn’s eyes can result in varying degrees of vision loss.
  • Facial Nerve Paralysis. Pressure of the forceps on facial nerves may cause temporary or permanent paralysis of facial muscles.
  • Skull Fractures. Excessive pressure applied to forceps can cause depressed skull fractures and injury to the fetal brain.
  • Spinal Cord Injury. Improper forceps rotation may damage the spinal cord, causing severe disability or death.
  • Brachial Plexus Injury. Compression or tearing of the brachial plexus, a group of nerves located between the neck and clavicle, may cause Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy, weakness, or paralysis of all or part of the arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.
  • Cerebral Palsy. Improper use of forceps can cause brain injuries, resulting in cerebral palsy.

Your West Virginia counsel for catastrophic forceps injuries

Paulson & Nace, PLLC’s family of medical malpractice attorneys offers the compassionate, personal, and professional attention you deserve. We are widely recognized throughout West Virginia for our comprehensive legal services to families and our aggressive advocacy for birth injury victims. When you choose a birth injury lawyer from our practice to represent you, you are choosing a team that values family. Please call 304-741-8079 or fill out our contact form to tell us your story in a no-obligation consultation. Our office is located at 3501 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

We have dedicated our lives to helping medical malpractice victims. Let our family help yours.