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The risks and advantages of vacuums and forceps

Parents in New Mexico may be concerned about the risks to infants who are delivered with the use of either vacuums or forceps. Both instruments pose a risk of birth injury to both mothers and infants. Following is a brief discussion of the risks and advantages of both instruments.

Vacuums are used more often than forceps because they are easier to place in many cases. However, the vacuum can present a danger if it is used when the baby's head is in a particular position. Therefore, it is important for the physician to know how the baby's head is positioned before using a vacuum.

Premature infants are at a greater risk than full-term infants for bleeding in the brain from the use of vacuums. In fact, the use of vacuums poses a greater risk for serious bleeding inside a premature baby's skull than the use of forceps. However, mothers are at risk for a number of injuries from the use of forceps, and infants are at risk for facial bruising injuries when the devices are used.

If an infant has suffered a head injury due to the improper use or placement of either a vacuum or forceps, the family may be entitled to financial compensation. For example, a child with a significant brain injury may need specialized care, therapy and education. A settlement could be used to pay for this additional medical care.

A personal injury lawyer could assess the case and determine the value of compensation that the family might receive. In addition, a lawyer can handle negotiating with the physician, hospital and insurers on behalf of the plaintiffs. Many personal injury cases settle without the need for litigation; however, a few do require litigation in court.

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