Forceps Delivery Injury Kills Texas Infant

Laura Woods | February 4th, 2014

NYC Birth Injury LawyerA Texas family is fighting back after recently losing their infant daughter in a forceps delivery injury. Allen Coats and his fiancée, Rachel Melancon are planning to file a lawsuit against their obstetrician, after a forceps injury caused their daughter to pass away just five days after her birth.

ABC News reported that the couple has also started a Facebook campaign to stop the use of forceps in all births, which has already gathered more than 55,000 likes.

Infant dies five days after forceps birth

The couple reportedly asked their doctor to induce labor prior to the due date, as a result of the baby’s large size, but the obstetrician refused. Weighing in at just 95 pounds prior to her pregnancy, the 4-feet-11 mother was concerned she wouldn’t be able to have a vaginal delivery. Although she requested a C-section, her doctor was allegedly against the idea as it would leave the mother with a scar.

After Melancon’s water finally broke, she labored 18 hours unsuccessfully. During that time the mother was running a 103 degree fever, grew increasingly weak, and the baby didn’t enter the birth canal.

The baby’s grandmother alleges the child was face up and the obstetrician tried unsuccessfully to turn her over with his hands.

“When he couldn’t do that, he took the small forceps to try to pull the baby out. He kept going and even put his foot up on the bed trying to pull,” the grandmother told ABC News. “He was turning and twisting and she would never come out. He put the forceps one way and the other. When he touched the top and side of the skull, we heard a pop, like clay cracking in pottery and heard her skull crush.”

The baby was ultimately delivered by emergency C-section and transferred by Life Flight to a local children’s hospital, but according to the family it was already too late. The baby could not breathe on her own and had suffered numerous skull fractures.

ABC News reported that patient privacy laws kept the hospital from commenting on the case.

Using forceps in delivery

Forceps are an instrument shaped like a large pair of salad tongs, which are applied to the baby’s head to guide it out of the birth canal. A physician may recommend the use of forceps during the second stage of delivery, if it isn’t progressing or if the baby’s safety is in jeopardy. Typically, a C-section is another option that can be used in place of forceps.

Forceps can assist in the delivery process, but they do pose a risk to both the mother and child.

Risks faced by the mother may include:

  • Pain in the perineum
  • Tears and wounds in the lower genital tract
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Anemia
  • Bladder or urethra injuries
  • Uterine rupture
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

Potential forceps delivery injury to the baby include:

  • Minor facial injuries
  • Facial palsy
  • Minor external eye trauma
  • Skull fracture
  • Bleeding in the skull
  • Seizures

Trusted NYC birth injury lawyer

If you suspect negligence caused injury to your newborn, it’s important to know your rights. Victims of medical malpractice in New York are being compensated for their pain and suffering, but it is crucial to consult an experienced attorney to discuss your case.

At The Sanders Firm, our dedicated lawyers have more than four decades of combined experience working with clients in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island to ensure justice is served on their cases. To schedule a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer in NYC, call our firm toll free at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY (1-800-324-7752).