A young couple is pleading for all doctors to discontinue use of forceps in deliveries after their daughter's skull was fractured. Their baby lived for only five days before dying from severe brain damage allegedly caused by their obstetrician's negligent delivery.
Grieving mother Rachel Melancon, 24, allegedly asked her doctor, George T. Backardjiev, for a C-section multiple times but he refused. Melancon is extremely petite, at 4'11 and 95 pounds, pre-pregnancy. She was concerned that her 7 pound, 15 ounce baby was too big to be safely delivered vaginally.
Melancon's mother in law, Angie Coats, told ABC News what happened, "[Backardjiev] said, 'No, you don't want a C-section. You'll have a scar," said Coats, who was present at the birth. "During her delivery, the baby's heart rate kept going up. He said, 'One more hour, one more hour.' Her water broke, but it was 18 hours until the delivery. [Rachel] was running a 103 fever... Five hours passed, then he came in and she started to push. But she was so worn out and the baby wasn't even in the birth canal."
The mourning parents plan to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician.
Forceps aren't commonly used during delivery because they greatly increase the risk of harm to the infant, but many doctors insist that they may be necessary as a last resort in certain situations.
Assuming the aforementioned facts are true, the obstetrician likely acted negligently by not performing a C-section before the child entered the birth canal. Alternatively, vacuum extraction is widely regarded as a safer alternative to the use of forceps.
McKeen & Associates, PC, is a medical malpractice law firm with a heavy focus on birth injury cases. The firm has a national presence and represents clients throughout the U.S.
Source: ABC News, "Funeral Held For Baby Allegedly Killed In Forceps Delivery," Susan Donaldson James, Jan. 5, 2014