Baltimore Forceps Injury Lawyer
Forceps are medical devices used as an aid in some deliveries, such as when the baby is in an abnormal position, the mother is having difficulty pushing, or the baby is in fetal distress. When used properly, forceps are safe and effective medical instruments. Used negligently without the acceptable degree of skill and care, forceps can cause severe and lifelong injuries.
At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman, our Baltimore forceps injury lawyers have been responsible for four out of five of the largest medical malpractice birth injury cases in Maryland, and the largest such verdict or settlement in the history of the United States. We know how to investigate a birth injury case to determine whether malpractice occurred, and we know how to hold doctors and hospitals liable for their medical mistakes that result in an injury that never should have happened.
Learn more about forceps injuries below. If your child suffered a birth injury at a Baltimore hospital involving the use of forceps, call the team at WVFK&N for a free consultation to explore your options for justice and compensation for your child.
How and When Are Forceps Used?
Forceps are a pair of spoon-shaped tongs (they look like salad spoons) that the doctor can use to grasp the baby’s head and gently pull the baby through the birth canal while the mother pushes. Forceps may be appropriate when the infant is facing prolonged labor due to an unusual birth position such as breech, a high birth weight, or because of the shape and size of the mother’s pelvis or birth canal.
Spending too much time in the birth canal can cause its own set of birth injuries to an infant, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or brachial plexus injury. Using forceps is one way to guide the infant through the birth canal more expeditiously to avoid one of these injuries. Vacuum extraction is an alternative method to forceps and is often the preferred method, although it is not always indicated. Vacuum extraction is considered too dangerous, for example, for premature infants. Forceps can be appropriate in this instance so long as they are applied skillfully and carefully.
What Kinds of Injuries Do Forceps Cause?
Negligent or improper use of forceps can result in the following types of birth injuries, among others:
- Skull fractures
- Bleeding in the skull
- Facial paralysis
- Facial lacerations
Some of these injuries can require surgery to repair. Others can leave the child with permanent impairments and disabilities. In some cases, the improper use of forceps is fatal. Since vacuum extraction is often the preferred method, many physicians, especially younger doctors, lack the training, skill and experience to use forceps appropriately.
How Our Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers Can Help
In any birth injury case, figuring out whether forceps were used correctly can be a complicated medical and legal issue. Negligence may involve choosing forceps when another method, such as vacuum extraction or performing a c-section, would have been a preferable alternative. Using forceps in a negligent manner would also amount to medical malpractice. Proving that malpractice occurred involves hiring a medical expert to review the medical records and form an opinion as to whether the doctor failed to perform according to the expected level of care and whether this failure was the cause of the injury. The doctor and hospital on the other side, meanwhile, will likely claim they did everything correctly and that the injury was unavoidable.
These are complex cases, but our firm has the knowledge, skills and experience needed to navigate these difficult areas, combined with the dedication to see the case through to a successful conclusion. We’ve recovered millions on behalf of birth injury victims and their families, and we’ll apply the same devotion to your case that we did to those others.
Call for Help After a Forceps Birth Injury in Baltimore
If your child suffered a birth injury in a Baltimore hospital that involved the use of forceps and you believe that a medical error might be to blame, call the medical malpractice attorneys at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman for a free consultation on your possible claims. There’s no fee until after we recover compensation for you.