When a baby needs help exiting the birth canal, a doctor may use forceps to help guide the baby along. A tube is attached to the baby’s head, and the doctor will pull the baby out during a contraction. After the head is exposed, the mother will finish delivering the baby on her own. While forceps are generally safe when used properly, they can cause injuries to the mother and the baby.
In rare cases, a baby may suffer bleeding in the head, which is serious and needs to be dealt with immediately. However, the baby typically suffers no more than some bumps and bruises to its face. It is also possible that it may suffer cuts that cause temporary bleeding. As with bleeding inside the head, it is rare that a baby will suffer any cuts from the use of forceps.
A baby may suffer drooping of the face if the facial nerves are injured. However, the nerves will generally heal within a few days, which results in the baby’s face returning to normal. The head may be cone shaped for a day or two, but the head should also return to its normal shape. For the mother, vaginal tearing is the most common side effect during a forceps assisted delivery.
If a baby suffers injuries during a complicated delivery, it may be possible to take legal action against those involved in the delivery. With the help of an attorney, it may be possible to hold the doctor or hospital where the delivery took place financially responsible for a baby’s injuries. If successful, it may be possible to win compensation for medical bills, long-term care for the baby as well as punitive damages related to medical malpractice.