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forceps, birth injury, San Jose personal injury attorneyThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more commonly known as the CDC, reports the latest data on annual births across the United States is at nearly 4 million, with an average birth rate of 12.4 percent per 1,000 population. The number of infant deaths is reported at 4,758.

Although the birth of a child is most often a joyous event, no child or family is immune from possible complications from biological or medical errors marring the expectations and hopes for the future. According to the Mayo Clinic, births involving the use of forceps heightens the risk of injury both to the mother and the baby. Forceps, resembling a pair of salad tongs, are used to facilitate and assist the newborn through the birth canal. Successful use of this medical device requires the physician to gently guide the baby’s head during each contraction but, when used improperly, the damage to the child can be both extensive and permanent.  

If too much force is applied or if the forceps are improperly placed, the strain on the child’s head can result in skull fractures, tearing of the vessels in the brain, swelling of the brain and intracranial trauma or brain bleed. There is also further risk of debilitating episodes of seizures, stroke, cerebral palsy as well as intellectual or developmental delays.

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