During labor and delivery, the doctor makes many choices that drastically affect the long-term health prognosis for both mother and child. Choosing the method of delivery is one of the most pivotal decisions a physician makes. Though mother and father should have input on this decision, in the stress of the moment the doctor is often free to make the choice on his or her own. And if the parents do protest, the doctor can claim a medical emergency requires certain interventions.
The use of forceps has become more and more controversial in labor and delivery over the last ten years. Long a commonly used tool in the obstetrician’s arsenal, forceps have been associated through various studies with damage to the infant’s skull and with damage to the mother’s reproductive system. Despite these risks, many physicians continue to rely on this potentially dangerous method of hastening the delivery process.
There are a variety of reasons to hasten this process, including:
- Concerns about the infant’s health, particularly if the baby is low enough in the birth canal that equipment has difficulties monitoring fetal heartbeat
- Mother having difficulty making progress through pushing
- The doctor or other medical professionals wishing to speed up the process for convenience
Though medical emergencies do happen, determining whether or not the use of forceps or another intervention (such as suction or a C-section) was necessary can be difficult. A mother may be left with a child who has suffered a birth injury such as damage to the skull or brain with no way to know whether the doctor caused the injury through haste or poor technique.
If your child suffered a birth injury, and you suspect an unnecessary or dangerous medical intervention may have been a factor, please consult with an experienced attorney. A qualified lawyer can help you obtain the expert answers you need, and can guide you through the process of making your case.