Grieving mum blames doctor's forceful forceps delivery for newborn's death

Grieving mum blames doctor's forceful forceps delivery for newborn's death

Even though serious infant injuries after a forceps delivery are extremely rare, sometimes accidents can happen. This is why pregnant mums must be aware of all pros and cons of all delivery methods available to them, and make an informed choice, early.

A recent death of a newborn baby in Long Island USA has sparked more fear towards forceps delivery risks to baby. Tragically, a baby’s head was severed internally from his spine after an obstetrician used a pair of forceps too forcefully.

It all happened when Megan Stirnweiss, 23, was rushed to Southampton Hospital in a last-minute decision after her home delivery had proved to be too painful, in December 2017.

When Dr Pedro Segarra came in with a pair of forceps, Megan’s mum wanted to know if there were any forceps delivery risks to baby. The 60-year-old obstetrician promptly told them there were none and proceeded to deliver the child.

forceps delivery risks to baby

The grieving mother

Pulled Too Aggressively

According to court papers, after the forceps were put around the baby’s head, Dr Segarra yanked the baby out, even dragging Megan along as she clung desperately to the bars of her hospital bed.

But that was not all. With the forceps still around the baby’s head, the doctor lifted Megan off the bed and shook her vigorously until the baby was born at 2.56am.

There was nothing but silence in the delivery room when Matthew Jacob was born. He was limp and blue. His parents never had the chance to hear him cry.

Megan is still in a lot of pain after the delivery. She suffered disruption, dislocation, tearing and lacerations of her internal organs and structures. And she claims that it will require reconstructive surgery to repair the damages she has suffered.

Megan and her husband kept baby Matthew alive on machines for seven days so that his organs could be donated. They are happy that Matthew is giving others the ultimate gift of life.

While Dr Pedro Segarra refuses to comment on what happened, Megan’s lawyer, said her client only wants “accountability.” The grieving parents simply do not want this to happen to anybody ever again.

forceps delivery risks to baby

RIP, little one.

Forceps Delivery Risks to Baby

According to Mayo Clinic, although rare, there are possible forceps delivery risks to baby which include:

  • Minor facial injuries due to the pressure of the forceps
  • Temporary weakness in the facial muscles (facial palsy)
  • Minor external eye trauma
  • Skull fracture
  • Bleeding within the skull
  • Seizures

Usually, only minor marks may appear on your baby’s face after a forceps delivery. This is normal, and the marks are temporary. 

Your doctor might suggest forceps delivery during the second stage of labour. This is only if labour isn’t progressing despite all efforts to push, or the baby’s safety is on the line. Should the forceps delivery fail, your doctor might perform an emergency C-section to take the baby out safely.

Dr Steven Goldstein, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at NYU Langone Medical Center thinks that “this is very sad.” He insists that forceps are still very safe and that this case should not be indicative of the way that forceps can and should be used.


Sources: New York Post, Mayo Clinic

Lead and feature picture credits: New York Post

Read also: Baby dies 5 days after forceps delivery left her skull fractured

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