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Couple claims forceps are a defective medical device

A young couple allege that a commonly used tool during labor is more dangerous than medical professionals are willing to admit. After the death of their first child, due to what they say is a defective medical device, the use of forceps is seriously being called into question. As a campaign to force the removal of these products surges forward, California opponents of the use of forceps might turn toward a product liability claim.

There are a number of reasons that forceps might be used to help extract a baby. During labor, a woman may become too exhausted to push her child out. In other cases, pushing can actually be dangerous, such as in cases of heart disease or hemorrhaging.

However, the young parents of a baby girl who died at only 5 days old are telling their story. After a lengthy labor in which the child did not move down into the birth canal, forceps were used in an attempt to extract the baby. Not only did the forceps fail to help the baby down the birth canal, but after the mother's emergency C-section, it was discovered that the baby had several skull fractures and could not breathe on her own. After transportation to a NICU at a nearby hospital, it was determined that the baby's spine had been severed.

The baby girl spent five days on life support. Her parents and many others claim that her death was caused by the use of forceps. A growing movement is swelling across the country, and support from all over, including those in California, are crying out against the use of what they say is a defective medical device during what is meant to be one of the best days of some parents' lives. Due to the nature of their child's death, a successfully litigated product liability claim may be the first step toward their hope of seeing the use of forceps retreat from the hospital -- along with their first step toward emotional recovery.

Source:, Parents push for change after baby dies at Houston hospital, No author, Jan. 2, 2014

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