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New York Forceps Injuries

Labor and delivery, although a natural process, is a complicated process. If not managed properly, the baby can suffer a serious birth injury. When a problem arises during a vaginal delivery such that the baby is in distress, the obstetrician may use an instrument such as forceps to help with the delivery of the baby. While delivery with forceps can be an effective way to gently guide a baby through the birth canal, if not used properly forceps can cause serious injury to the baby, such as facial injuries, brain damage, and a skull fracture. If your baby suffered a serious injury at birth that you believe was caused because of the negligent use of forceps, contact a New York forceps injuries lawyer who will examine your medical records, and help ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Problems associated with forceps delivery

Forceps are a surgical instrument that resemble tongs that are used in vaginal deliveries to help pull the baby through the birth canal. They are typically used when the delivery is prolonged and the baby is not progressing. When this happens there is a risk that the baby will suffer serious injuries, such as brain damage due to lack of oxygen. It is important that the doctor take steps to immediately deliver the baby. In cases where a c-section is not an option, doctors may opt to use forceps or a vacuum extractor to help the baby through the birth canal. However, there are risks associated with forceps delivery. Complications associated with forceps deliveries include:

  • Bruises and lacerations to the head and face
  • Brain damage leading to cerebral palsy and other serious conditions
  • Eye injuries, including retinal hemorrhages
  • Skull fractures
  • Cervical cord injury
  • Facial nerve palsy- nerve damage to the baby’s face
  • Shoulder dystocia leading to brachial plexus and Erb’s palsy
Pursuing damages for forceps injuries

Improper use of forceps can lead to serious, permanent damage to a baby, including brain damage. Babies with brain damage face a variety of challenges including cognitive problems, paralysis, vision and hearing loss, as well as difficulty communicating. Depending on the type of complications and the severity, treatment can be substantial and last for the child’s entire life. As experienced New York forceps injuries lawyers, we understand how concerned parents are about being able to pay for the medical care necessary for their child. We are here to help.

If your child’s brain injury, skull fracture, brachial palsy, or other serious injury was caused because your doctor was negligent, then you can demand that the negligent doctor or hospital compensate you for the losses you and your child suffered as a result. Doctors are expected to understand when it is appropriate to use forceps and when it is not. For example, if the baby is too large, then the use of forceps is contraindicated. If the baby is premature, then forceps should not be used. If forceps are warranted, then doctors are expected to understand how to properly use them so that the baby is not harmed.

Sadly, there are far too many cases where the baby was harmed because the doctor either used forceps when he or should not have, or because the doctor did not understand how to use them properly. In either instance, the doctor would be liable for injuries suffered by the baby.


Leslie and Jerry excitedly awaited the birth of their baby girl. Leslie had enjoyed an easy pregnancy without any complications or concerns. Leslie went into labor and her husband drove her to the hospital. Her obstetrician prepared for the vaginal delivery. Leslie pushed 2 times. The doctor then decided to use forceps, despite the fact that there was no indication of a problem, and it was too soon for it to be a prolonged delivery. The doctor tugged with the forceps a few more times. Upon delivery, the baby’s face and head had marks from the forceps. Soon, Leslie and Jerry learned that their baby girl’s injuries went beyond bruising. The use of forceps caused her to suffer severe brain damage. Leslie and Jerry immediately contacted a forceps injuries attorney in New York to discuss their legal options.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If your baby was seriously injured due to the negligent use of forceps, you have the right to demand compensation from the negligent doctor through a medical malpractice claim. Because medical malpractice cases are complicated, it is important that you are represented by an attorney who understands the medical issues related to forceps deliveries as well as substantive personal injury law. The forceps injuries attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have the experience, knowledge, and resources to help. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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