Obstetrical forceps were created with the intention of allowing anyone to deliver a baby, regardless of experience. Ironically, inexperience with forceps and a lack of training has resulted in a surprising number of birth injuries in forceps-assisted deliveries. That leaves one question for parents. Are forceps safe?
Why Use Forceps?
Forceps-assisted births are most common when labor unexpectedly comes to a halt. There are other reasons as well, such as if the baby becomes stuck or if the baby is facing the wrong way.
While forceps have their moments, the majority of situations that call for forceps can also be solved with a c-section. In fact, the majority of US doctors consider c-section before forceps-assisted delivery. A prompt c-section is often safer for the baby, but a delayed c-section carries an increased risk for both mother and child.
What are the Risks?
While forceps can help with halted labor, they are more often associated with birth injuries, especially after a recent series of high-profile birth injury cases. Forceps-related birth injuries are on the rise, jumping nearly 10% from 2004 to 2014.
While forceps-assisted deliveries make up just 1% of vaginal births, current rates suggest every 1% increase in forceps use would result in an additional 700 birth injuries per year.
Are Forceps Safe?
Obstetrical forceps changed the way humans give birth, resulting in more successful deliveries than any time in our history. However, now that forceps-assisted deliveries are rare, there’s a greater chance of injury and medical malpractice.
When doctors aren’t trained to use obstetrical forceps, they risk injuring the baby with improper technique. As a result, many doctors opt for c-sections when proper use of forceps would work just as well.
If your child suffered a birth injury after a forceps-assisted delivery, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Atlanta birth injury attorney from the Tolson Firm to evaluate your claim, please send us an email or call at your earliest convenience.