OB-GYN Malpractice: Improper Use of Tools During Childbirth

Improperly Using Tools During Childbirth Can Result in Oregon Medical Malpractice


The labor and delivery process is a very complicated and stressful time for everyone involved, especially the baby who is most vulnerable.  When complications arise, many times an OB-GYN or family care practitioner will attempt to use tools like forceps or a vacuum to deliver the baby.  Using these tools is an accepted practice within the labor and delivery world of medicine, however special care and skill must be utilized in delivering a baby when using tools.  Failure to do so can result in Oregon medical malpractice and severe birth injuries.


Types of Labor and Delivery Tools


There are many different tools that are used during the labor and delivery process, including clamps and fetal monitoring devices.  But the real tools that can cause birth injuries with direct, physical contact are some extraction tools.  These are primarily the forceps and the extraction vacuum.


Forceps are long instruments that look like tongs.  They are used to grab a baby and help gentle pull a baby out further during an extraction.  Forceps will likely leave some type of bruising or abrasions on a baby, particularly the baby’s face or head.  These are considered generally safe, as long as the doctor is not exerting excessive pressure downwards or pulling outwards.


The vacuum extractor is a newer type of tool that is more preferred than forceps.  A small suction cup is placed onto the baby’s head which is gently pulled each time you have a contraction to help pull the baby through the birth canal faster, or to guide the baby.  This may result in some abrasions, little bumps, or swelling to the baby’s head, but that will resolve in a few days.  Vacuums are considered to be safer than forceps and generally safe as well.


Birth Injuries Due to Improper Use of Forceps or Vacuum Extractors


There are many hospitals and OB-GYN clinics in Bend, Central Oregon, and Portland which use both forceps and vacuum extractors.  Most times these are used without incident.  However, sometimes these tools are used in a manner which is negligent or likely to cause careless or reckless harm to a baby.


The most common type of birth injuries due to improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors includes the following:

  • Facial nerve injuries;
  • Signifiant disfigurement or scarring;
  • Brain damage from excessive pressure;
  • Brain damage from hypoxic (lack of oxygen) injuries;
  • Fractures bones from excessive pressure;
  • Damage to the ears or nose caused by severe abrasions;
  • Damage to the eyes from scrapes of the tools;
  • Wrongful death; and
  • Many other types of injuries.


Birth Injuries Caused by Improper Use of Forceps or Vacuum Extractor Could be Oregon Medical Malpractice


Our children are precious, and they are vulnerable.  This is especially true of children who are in the birthing process.  We rely on our medical providers to carefully help guide us through labor and delivery without future injury to us or our newborns.  Unfortunately, this does not always occur and some medical providers cause serious injury to our loved ones.


If your newborn has been injured during the labor and delivery process, call to schedule a FREE appointment to learn what your rights may be. We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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