With the benefit of medical practices that have evolved over time, today’s
hospitals are usually well-equipped to handle unexpected birth complications,
including brain injury and other severe issues. In fact, most deliveries
proceed without any major problems and culminate in the healthy arrival
of a new family member. However, for some Houston families, a baby’s
delivery may need to be actively assisted with certain devices. The use
of such devices has not been without controversy, though, so some expecting
parents might wonder if an assisted delivery is worth the risks involved.
In some deliveries, the baby is not moving along sufficiently and the doctor
may make the decision to use either forceps or a vacuum extractor to help
pull the baby out. In some birth injury cases, the use of these devices
has caused brain injuries or other trauma to the newborn, so it’s
helpful to know what they are and why they might be used.
Forceps, as well as vacuum extractors, are used to speed delivery. In some
cases, the mother may be too exhausted to push anymore or there might
be another medical reason why she can no longer push. In either case,
the doctor may select forceps, which slightly resemble large spoons or
tongs, to clamp around the baby’s head and help pull it out. A vacuum
extractor uses a suction cup, which attaches to the baby’s head to
help extract the child.
While both devices can be helpful, they also can pose a threat to the newborn,
as well as to the mother. Forceps might damage a baby’s facial nerves
and can also cause bruising. Extractors may cause swelling of the baby’s
scalp or even bleeding in the baby’s brain. In addition, assisted
deliveries have been associated with increased tears of the mother’s
body during delivery.
These are just a few of the potential problems that can be a result of
improper forceps or extractor use. A family whose baby has experienced
brain trauma may be unaware as to what caused their child’s condition
or what legal resources are available. A Houston brain injury attorney
can help families understand their rights under such conditions and learn
more about their options under the law.