Forceps Injuries

There are more than 600 different types of forceps, which go by many names, e.g., Elliott forceps, Simpson forceps, and Kielland forceps.

At any given time, most hospitals have 6 to 8 different types of forceps on hand for deliveries. All forceps have two branches - left and right. They all have handles that are connected to blades by shanks of different length metal. The blade is the part of the forceps that is used to grasp a baby's head.

When performed correctly, forceps deliveries pose no greater risks to a mother or baby than a vaginal delivery without instrumentation. Indeed, there are many situations in which the use of obstetric forceps will avoid injury to a mother or baby.

However, many physicians lack the training, skill and/or experience necessary to master forceps deliveries, such as outlet forceps delivery, low-forceps delivery, mid-forceps delivery, and high- forceps delivery. Generally, mid- and high-forceps delivery present the greatest risk of injury.

Common injuries to a mother include:
  • loss of bladder control;
  • loss of bowel control;
  • cervical lacerations; and
  • vaginal lacerations.

Common injuries to a baby include:

  • facial bruising;
  • scalp bruising;
  • bone fractures;
  • brain damage; and
  • death.

A medical provider may commit medical malpractice by choosing to using forceps, or by using forceps improperly.  The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases.  If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at