Common Forceps Injuries
Forceps are metal tongs that are curved in order for a medical professional to clasp the tongs onto the sides of a baby’s head. A doctor is expected to use necessary care when both clasping the head and when pulling on the baby. If the doctor does not pull gently enough, serious injuries can result.
The following are some examples of possible injuries to a baby from the use of forceps:
- Indentations on the baby’s head from excessive pressure;
- Abrasion or contusions on the baby’s scalp;
- Permanent disfigurement of the baby’s scalp or head;
- Erb’s Palsy or shoulder dystocia, which is an injury that damages the brachial plexus nerves in the baby’s shoulder.
While many bruises or indentations may clear up on their own in a matter of weeks, some disfigurements of the head may persist, worsen, and may become permanent. Erb’s Palsy can result in partial or total paralysis in the arm and hand of the shoulder that was injured. In some cases, the baby’s nerves will heal on their own and they will regain mobility and sensation in their limb. However, other babies with Erb’s Palsy may require surgical procedures or other medical treatment to repair the nerves that were damaged due to the serious forceps injury.
Forceps Injuries Due to Medical Malpractice
If your doctor does not provide the required medical standard of care in your particular situation, you may have the right to hold them accountable for medical malpractice.
While medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove, negligent doctors should be held liable for the losses of their patients. Such losses claimed in a medical malpractice case can include the following:
- Bills for the medical care required to treat the injury or repair damage caused by the misuse of forceps;
- Any other financial losses caused by the forceps injury, including medical equipment, lost income for the parents during medical treatments, and other potential damages;
- Pain and suffering of the injured child;
- Permanent disability to the child.
Contact a Portland Forceps Injury Lawyer For Help
At the Johnston Law Firm in Portland, we believe that medical professionals throughout Oregon should live up to the high standard to which they are held and that patients should be able to trust doctors to keep them and their babies safe. In the event a forceps injury happens to your child, we can fully evaluate the circumstances of the injury and advise you whether you may have a viable medical malpractice claim against the doctor who delivered your child. Please call a medical malpractice attorney today at (503) 546-3167 for a free consultation.
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