Knowledgeable and Experienced Guidance

Birth injuries can result from use of forceps

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2017 | Birth Injuries |

Childbirth is an incredibly wonderful experience for most North Carolina parents. Sometimes, however, complications occur that require procedures that the parents did not anticipate. In some cases, those deviations from a normal delivery result in injury to baby or mother.

If medical malpractice occurs during that less typical delivery, litigation may follow to ensure that the injured baby’s resulting increased medical and future needs are met for the remainder of his life.

Tragic injuries to a baby resulted in large damages award

As reported by USA Today, a recent lawsuit came to an end with a very high verdict against a federally-funded medical facility. The plaintiff-parents to a baby severely injured during delivery prevailed in an award of $42 million after a bench trial.

In that case, the delivery doctor used forceps in a manner that was inconsistent with the early stage of delivery. The baby suffered severe brain injuries that cause him permanent, very significant physical and intellectual struggles for the rest of his life.

The judge found that over $30 million would be necessary for medical care and general care into the future. He also found that there was an expected loss of nearly $3 million for the child’s loss of his future income from working, along with additional losses.

Forceps use and risk to baby

Is the use of forceps a reason for concern? According to Mayo Clinic, the use of this tool does pose some risks to both mother and baby. Noted to be rare, one such risk that may correlate to the USA Today report, is that of skull fracture. Bleeding within the skull is possible as well. Further risks include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Injury to an eye
  • Facial injuries
  • Facial palsy


Minor facial scratches or abrasions or bruises are relatively normal; they are also temporary.


Forceps use and risk to mother

Use of forceps enhance some delivery risks that already exist. These increased risks include the following:

  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Anemia
  • Rupture of the uterus
  • Urinary incontinence which may be long term
  • Fecal incontinence which may be long term

Injury to the mother’s bladder or urethra is also a risk.