What is assisted delivery and is it dangerous?

assisted birth injuries forcepsEven with careful fetal monitoring throughout the birthing process, a delivery can present a surprise or new challenge at any moment. Assisted delivery is one way doctors approach these challenges, but you may be worried that surgical tools could hurt your baby. It’s important you understand what assisted delivery is and what risks it poses to your baby.

What Is Assisted Delivery?

Childbirth can be a traumatic experience for both mother and child. However, when the birth becomes too challenging, the doctor must take swift action to protect the mother and the baby. In some deliveries, the doctor may elect to use medical tools to guide the baby through the birth canal. This is known as an assisted delivery, and the two tools used most often are the following:

  • Forceps are a tong-like tool with a large cup on each of the two tips. When a doctor uses this tool, he usually instructs the mother to push, fixes the cups around the sides of the baby’s head, and pulls gently.
  • Vacuum extraction (ventouse) is a technique involving a vacuum-like suction device with a cup attached to the end of its hose, which a doctor attaches to a baby’s head. When the suction is active, the mother pushes, and the doctor uses the suction to guide the child out.

Your Baby Faces Some Risk

It’s important to remember that not all doctors will make mistakes when using forceps or a vacuum. Even when doctors use these tools properly and safely, babies may experience some head or facial markings. However, you may have cause for concern over larger issues, which could include:

  • Facial bruising
  • Temporary facial palsy
  • Eye injury
  • Cranial or facial fractures
  • Minor cranial bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Brachial plexus injury

Do You Have a Birth Injury Case?

Doctors are human and they can make mistakes and hurt people if they fail to uphold a certain standard of care. If your baby is injured or suffered harm at the hands of a negligent doctor, it’s important you ask an attorney whether you have a case. The team at Tavss Fletcher would be happy to sit down with you, look at your documents, and answer any of your questions. If you’re ready to start a conversation, call our toll-free number today.