Practice Areas > Birth Injury > Causes of InjuryTraumatic Delivery > Forceps 


Obstetrical forceps have two blades which are applied to the baby's head. The forceps are used to pull the baby's from the birth canal. If used incorrectly, forceps can be extremely dangerous and cause traumatic injury to the baby's head. Forceps should only be used when certain obstetric indications are present. Medical providers must carefully monitor the baby's condition while the forceps are being used.

Some injuries caused by forceps include:

  1. Intracranial hemorrhage is a hemorrhage, or bleeding, within the skull. Intracranial hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel in the head is ruptured or leaks. it can result from physical trauma to the head.

  2. Cephalohematoma is a hemorrhage or collection of blood caused by rupture of blood vessels between the skull and the periosteum. The extent of hemorrhage may be severe enough to cause anemia and hypotension. Cephalohematoma may be caused by a prolonged second stage of labor or by operative vaginal delivery with a vacuum extractor or forceps.

    Subgaleal hemorrhage is bleeding in the potential space between the skull periosteum and the scalp galea aponeurosis. A large percentage of subgaleal hemorrhage result from vacuum extractors applied to the head at delivery. Subgaleal hematoma is also associated with head trauma, such as intracranial hemorrhage or skull fracture.  Patients with subgaleal hemorrhage may present with hemorrhagic shock and may develop hyperbilirubinemia. 

    Caput Succedaneum is swelling of the scalp in a newborn baby usually caused by the mechanical trauma to the presenting part of the head being pushed through the cervix. Babies with caput succedaneum may become jaundiced when the bruising breaks down into bilirubin.

When a child has suffered an injury related to prenatal care, labor or delivery, it is understandable for the parents to have questions about the injury, their legal rights and the legal rights of the child.  We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about what has happened to your child and about your legal rights.  Consultations are free – there is no obligation to call and talk with one of our attorneys.  Contact Us if we can help you.

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Williams & Brown L.L.P.

Bridgeview Center
2nd Floor
7901 Fish Pond Road
Waco, Texas 76710
Telephone: 254.741.6200
Fax: 254.741.6300
Toll Free: 1.888.741.6200