Unfortunately, not all births go smoothly. When the mother or baby is in distress, doctors must decide how to intervene quickly. Many times everything works out okay, but when things go wrong during labor and delivery, the mother and baby can suffer serious injuries.
Two common methods of birth interventions are forceps or vacuum deliveries and cesarean sections. While C-sections are major surgical procedures with risks for injury, forceps and vacuum deliveries can also cause significant injuries to the mother or baby.
A new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports on the dangers of forceps and vacuums in the mid-pelvic stage of delivery as compared to the dangers of a C-section. The results of the study show there are greater numbers of babies and mothers suffering serious injuries with forceps/vacuum deliveries than with C-sections.
According to the study, when labor was assisted by forceps/vacuums in cases without signs of distress, babies were five to 10 times more likely to be victims of potentially long-term birth injuries with forceps/vacuums than with a C-section.
Dangers to babies in these situations include:
- Facial injuries and temporary facial palsy
- Skull fractures
- Brain bleeds
- Liver or spleen damage
Additionally, the mothers in these types of deliveries were at risk for injuries such as:
- Severe tears resulting in incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse
- Bladder and urethra injuries
- Tears or ruptures in the uterine wall
Mothers and babies with these types of injuries may have lifelong medical problems. They may need costly long-term medical care. If one parent must quit working to care for the injured child, the family may also be facing considerable wage loss.
If your family experienced a serious birth injury, you may want to consider your options for recovering compensation so you can cover your economic losses. Nothing can take away your physical and emotional pain, but being able to pay your bills will allow you to focus on your family during this difficult time.