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Forceps Safer than Vacuums or C-Sections?

Posted on December 29, 2011 to

Once thought of as unsafe, childbirths using forceps are now gaining favor with doctors across the country. In the past, doctors favored C-Sections and vacuums over forceps in the delivery process. A doctor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found it puzzling why forceps were viewed as dangerous all these years.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins studied over 400,000 childbirths and discovered that babies delivered with forceps were 45 percent less likely to suffer a seizure than babies delivered with vacuums or C-Sections. Forceps allows doctors to reach the baby faster than the other methods. The quicker the doctor can reach the baby, the less chance there is for oxygen deprivation, which can cause a seizure in the new born. Birth trauma such as seizures can cause permanent damage to a baby.

Despite the study, doctors use C-Sections in about one-third of all child deliveries, according to 2007 data. Doctors are also using vacuums more than ever to deliver babies. The doctors involved with the study at Johns Hopkins hope their data will shed light on the advantages of forceps-assisted delivers and lessen the risk of seizures.

Do you know someone who suffered a birth trauma injury?

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

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