Medical technology has increased massively over the years, and this is a very good thing. It means that people can be treated for diseases they could never be treated for before, children who never would have lived through childbirth are born and they are healthy, and overall wellness is better than it has been before. However, these advances in technology and the use of medical tools can also cause some injuries during birth. A few examples are as follows:
1. Forceps, which are used to help extract a child, can cause cuts and bruises. In extreme cases, forceps can even break bones. These are useful because a child who is stuck may be at a high risk for brain injury and even death, but that doesn’t mean they are without their own risks.
2. The vacuum extraction machine, often used instead of forceps, can cause caput succedaneum. This just means that the soft tissue on the child’s head becomes bruised and swells. The vacuum extraction device can also cause lacerations and temporary deformation of the child’s skull.
3. Facial paralysis can occur in some cases when forceps are used and the facial nerve is bruised or severed. One side of the face may be frozen, and doctors usually notice when the baby first begins to cry. Bruising usually causes temporary paralysis that goes away on its own, but surgery may be the only way to correct a severed nerve.
Again, when the risk of death and permanent brain injury is high, these tools may still be helpful. However, it’s important to know what injuries they can cause in South Carolina and how to seek compensation when negligence causes those injuries.
Source: Standford Children’s Hospital, “Birth Injury,” accessed July 08, 2016