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Source of Severe Birth Injuries

Posted on November 27, 2023

Out of 24 high-income countries, Canada has the highest rate of maternal injuries from forceps and vacuum-assisted deliveries, according to a new study. Birth mothers can suffer severe long-term trauma, prompting the study’s authors to call for urgent action.

Researchers looked at more than 35,000 single infant births and found one-in-four attempted forceps deliveries and one-in-eight attempted vacuum-assisted deliveries resulted in injury. Most commonly, it caused obstetric anal sphincter injury, a severe tearing to the perineum of the mother. Canada’s injury rate was 16 percent, whereas other high-income countries had an average of 5 percent.

“These rates of injuries are absurdly, unacceptably high,” noted epidemiologist Giulia Muraca, one of the study’s authors. “Perhaps even worse, we’re not even recognizing or talking about them.”

Where does the U.S. stand in terms of birth trauma related to the use of forceps or vacuum-assisted deliveries? 

According to a National Library of Medicine report, while the rates have declined over the past several decades, the use of these tools remain issues of concern, causing clinical conditions like these:

When a birth injury happens, it can be devastating. But the help of a top Philadelphia birth injury attorney can make all the difference between a life of hardship or one of support. Tom Duffy has recovered settlements in excess of $20,000,000. Contact us to learn more or set a time to speak about the details of your case.