Forceps are surgical instruments resembling oversized tongs. Medical professionals use them to delicately grasp the infant’s head, enabling them to maneuver the baby through the birth canal. When used negligently, these metal instruments can result in serious birth injuries to both the mother and the newborn.
Although only 0.5% of American births in 2021 included a delivery with forceps, according to Statista, there are serious ramifications associated with improper application during childbirth.
One of the most prevalent birth injuries stemming from careless forceps use is cranial trauma. Incorrect placement or excessive force can induce skull fractures or hemorrhages in the newborn. Such injuries may result in lasting consequences, including developmental delays, intellectual impairments or even permanent brain damage.
Facial nerve damage
Negligent application of forceps can harm the newborn’s facial nerves, culminating in facial paralysis, a condition referred to as facial nerve palsy. This affliction affects the infant’s ability to close their eyes, smile or move their facial muscles properly, leading to emotional and functional challenges.
It is worth noting that negligent forceps use is not limited to harming the infant since it can also jeopardize the mother’s well-being. Excessive force applied during delivery can result in tears, hemorrhaging and enduring pelvic floor damage that leaves mothers with long-term pain.
When a medical professional rushes through a procedure, they may cause serious harm to the baby or their mother during birth. It is important that healthcare providers prioritize principles that safeguard the health and safety of all parties involved in childbirth.