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Forceps Delivery Crushed Baby's Skull, Caused Death, Family Alleges
ABC News ^ | January 3, 2014 | Susan Donaldson James

Posted on 01/04/2014 8:22:31 PM PST by EveningStar

Olivia Marie Coats lived for five days after her parents allege a forceps delivery crushed her little skull and caused brain death. Now, they have launched a Facebook campaign to stop the use of forceps in all births.

Allen Coats, 25, and his fiancee Rachel Melancon, 24, say they will sue their obstetrician, Dr. George T. Backardjiev, but not The Medical Center of Southeast Texas, where their daughter was born on Dec. 28. The baby was transferred that day to Houston's Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, which confirmed the baby died on Jan. 2.

(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: forceps
When my mother was a RN more than 70 years ago, this was apparently a more common practice. She was shocked at how doctors would strain as they tried to yank the baby out. It really depressed her. :(
1 posted on 01/04/2014 8:22:31 PM PST by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

I was a forceps baby ( maybe that explains much). Used to be used quite a bit. Not so much these days but it is not unheard of.

When they say this was a big baby that is so not true 7 lbs is pretty average and 22 inches is just a shade over average. The size of the mother is not the determiner…

I feel heart broken for these parents. I also wonder why they didn’t bother getting married before deciding that they were frown up enough to start a family.


2 posted on 01/04/2014 8:40:22 PM PST by Nifster
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To: EveningStar

I know a guy whose grandmother said be was delivered by forceps and it caused his skull to be misshaped by it. Could be true because he seemed a brick shy of a load, his grandmother always blamed the doctor for his problems. Forceps were not a part of my past, I am just plain dumb.


3 posted on 01/04/2014 8:41:05 PM PST by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: EveningStar

Yeah, it’s a last ditch attempt to avert disaster. Rarely done anymore, as we have so many c sections now. Banning forceps will result in more dead moms and children. And more c sections .


4 posted on 01/04/2014 8:42:09 PM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: EveningStar

Regardless of how it appears to a nurse in the delivery room, this call has to be the doctor’s call, and not a lawyer’s. Suing to abolish a widely used (though rapidly declining), effective medical practice because it was unsuccessful in one case or a handful of cases, or because it looks dangerous is absolutely NO WAY to practice medicine.


5 posted on 01/04/2014 8:42:14 PM PST by FredZarguna (Das is nicht richtig nur falsch. Das ist nicht einmal falsch.)
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To: Nifster

“Fiance” nowdays just means shackup. They probably have no intentions of getting married, or they would have done so by now.

Very sad about the baby.


6 posted on 01/04/2014 8:43:39 PM PST by Joann37
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To: EveningStar

I may be missing something as a person with no kids. What good does suing the obstetrician do, especially now, after the baby’s death? Is it just to punish the doctor for a tragic mistake? If the child had lived, I can see suing for some of the money a disabled person will be needing during a lifetime. Is it the psychological pain that they are suing about? They would still have to prove negligence. It’s doubtful the doctor did this out of malice.


7 posted on 01/04/2014 8:49:51 PM PST by lee martell
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To: lee martell

Money.


8 posted on 01/04/2014 8:51:43 PM PST by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)
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To: EveningStar

The perfect is the enemy of the good. Forceps are used rarely in deliveries in modern medicine. But if forcep deliveries are banned, many babies and their mothers will die.

This is a tragic story, but the “do something” to make the world perfect, if successful, will be more tragic.


9 posted on 01/04/2014 8:55:50 PM PST by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: EveningStar

A. Coates and his fiancee............what the hell happened to being married and responsible before cranking out kids????


10 posted on 01/04/2014 9:12:28 PM PST by terycarl
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To: Nifster; All

My 43 year old son was a forceps baby. The mother in question was 4’11” and the baby was almost 8 lbs. and 22 inches. That is very large for a woman that small. The size of the woman’s pelvic structure is an important determinant. I was 5’5”, small boned, and my boy was 9 lbs. and 22 inches. He was also 3 weeks later than his due date. We never discussed a section. I had an epidural (spinal) anesthesia. When it came time for me to start pushing I asked them not to give more anesthesia so I could have some awareness of my pushing. It had been 13 hours of labor, but I was not exhausted. I was pushing very hard, and the doctor was pulling with forceps, although not in a dramatic manner. My husband said blood vessels were bulging on my forehead and he had never seen anyone work so hard. They had a little trouble getting his breathing started, but otherwise his Apgar score was good. He also had a little bruising on the sides of his head. I am glad I did not need a C section and my second child was born after two hours of labor in the hospital.

Doctors should have that option, but it sounds as though the Doctor in that case was not willing to give up on the vaginal birth and overdid his efforts. Parents need more education on their options and possibilities before the delivery. For example, the fact that I knew enough to not use maximum anesthesia and could help with the pushing probably meant the doctor did not have to pull too hard. On the other hand the mother in this case was already exhausted, so the doctor probably made a bad call and should have used the C section.


11 posted on 01/04/2014 9:20:13 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: EveningStar

now you pay them to do that...it’s called abortion....how times change!


12 posted on 01/04/2014 9:21:39 PM PST by terycarl
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To: gleeaikin
My 43 year old son was a forceps baby. The mother in question was 4’11” and the baby was almost 8 lbs. and 22 inches. That is very large for a woman that small. The size of the woman’s pelvic structure is an important

my, now 74 year old wife was 4'10, and 87 pounds when we were married in 196l...our first of three babiis was 9#4oz and the other two, a little later were about the same size....the baby was more than 10%of her weight!!! she did just fine

13 posted on 01/04/2014 9:27:23 PM PST by terycarl
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To: gleeaikin

I was a forceps baby roughly 40 years ago. They stopped doing them here around 2000 (my friend’s daughter was one of the last in her hospital). My 9 lb face-up baby was not. The doctor reacher her hand up to ease her position. If anything, maybe only a c-section could have improved on the outcome.


14 posted on 01/04/2014 9:29:05 PM PST by conservative cat
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To: EveningStar

My oldest and youngest babies were about 6 1/2 pounds each. My middle child was pushing 9 pounds.

The doctor used a vacuum extractor on him instead of forceps or a C-section.

I sure feel sorry for everyone in the story.


15 posted on 01/04/2014 9:33:08 PM PST by Cloverfarm (This too shall pass ...)
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To: Kozak
There is a new procedure that was posted here. Uses something like a plastic bag to slip over the head and a suction is applied to tighten. Applies pressure evenly and is apparently much superior to forceps.

I think an auto mechanic came up with the idea.

Was an interesting post.

16 posted on 01/04/2014 9:33:16 PM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: gleeaikin

“He was also 3 weeks later than his due date.”

You’re lucky. I was dumb enough to get a doctor involved on Baby#1 and they force the issue starting the week before their arbitrarily calculated due date. I had to argue with the Master of Modern Birthing that God was going to decide when the baby was done cooking, not him.


17 posted on 01/04/2014 9:55:25 PM PST by ToastedHead
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To: lee martell

malpractice doesn’t have to be malicious to get sued.

you can have a very poor, unqualified doctor who is terrible at procedures, and causes damage to patients, without malice.

just like you can have a crappy mechanic, computer guy, lawyer, etc. who screws stuff up, because they are awful, not malicious. that doesn’t make them imjune from disastrous mistakes, especially if someone dies.

a mechanic who screws up your brakes and you die b/c you slam into a wall or semi, isn’t immune from lawsuit because it was stupidity and not malice. it’s still criminal or civil negligence.


18 posted on 01/04/2014 11:00:38 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Good points. There is an element of trust the public takes with them going into any medical facility. We have a presumption of competence, especially if that provider is licensed.


19 posted on 01/04/2014 11:23:15 PM PST by lee martell
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To: lee martell

not only that, doctors expect that patients defer to their expertise, and will override patients’ when they believe its medically necessary.

doctors are still taught to be confident and act like they know everything when they don’t, but patients today know a lot more about things than they did in the past, at least certain segments of their patients, and they do not put absolute trust in anyone, including doctors.

especially not with non-doctors and non-medical reasons dictating what kinds of treatments are/aren’t allowed.


20 posted on 01/04/2014 11:27:58 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Texas Fossil

It’s not that new. Vacuum assist has been around for decades. Not a replacement for forceps. Has it’s own problems when used.

“Published data suggest that forceps deliveries are associated with more maternal morbidity, whereas vacuum devices cause more neonatal injury. For example, a meta-analysis of 10 clinical trials concluded that vacuum-assisted deliveries were associated with significantly less maternal trauma than forceps, including a lower rate of severe perineal injury (odds ratio [OR], 0.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33–0.50).24 “

Vacuum-assisted vaginal deliveries can cause significant fetal morbidity, including scalp lacerations, cephalohematomas, subgaleal hematomas, intracranial hemorrhage, facial nerve palsies, hyperbilirubinemia, and retinal hemorrhage. The risk of such complications is
estimated at around 5%.50 Cephalohematomas, bleeding into the fetal scalp due to separation from the underlying structures (Figure 4), are more common with vacuum than with forceps deliveries (14%–16% vs 2%, respectively).26,41 The incidence of subgaleal hematomas after vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery ranges from 26 to 45 per 1000 deliveries.4 A cross-sectional study evaluating the incidence of neonatal retinal hemorrhage found that the incidence was higher for vacuum-assisted vaginal deliveries (75%) compared with spontaneous vaginal (33%) and cesarean deliveries (7%).51 By far the most serious complication is intracranial hemorrhage. A California-based review of over 580,000 term singleton deliveries by Towner and colleagues52 reported an incidence of intracranial hemorrhage of 1 in 860 for vacuum extraction compared with 1 in 1900 for women who delivered spontaneously. The incidence was the highest (1 in 280) in women delivered by combined forceps and vacuum-assisted vaginal deliveries.52

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2672989/#!po=51.9231


21 posted on 01/05/2014 1:56:23 AM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: terycarl

I was a bit bigger but I never had any anesthesia. I think the overuse of drugs interferes with the delivery process. Many, many women now take an epidural. It’s as common as Tylenol and Motrin. I was told it would slow down the delivery.


22 posted on 01/05/2014 2:14:51 AM PST by momincombatboots (Back to West by G-d Virginia.)
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To: Kozak

Vacuum assist?

Are we talking about the same process?

Is this the one that inserts a plastic bag over the head and low level vacuum is applied to envelope the head as a leverage device? I am not talking about a suction cup on the top of the head.

What I read about this (I am not a medical person) indicated this is a fairly new process.

Thanks for your perspective from experience.


23 posted on 01/05/2014 4:08:32 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: lee martell

Well, having had a child ‘killed’ by a doctor myself in 1979, my firstborn son, I wish we had sued since the bastard continued to practice and is still practicing today. We went to a lawyer before the baby had died and he suggested we get on with our lives rather than spend years in court. After losing our child we learned that we were not his first victims. My sister found a newspaper article about an identical case to ours but the child lived and was severely brain damaged, a malpractice suit with an ‘undisclosed’ settlement resulted. To look up the bastard doctor today, there is no public record of malpractice suits against him. Both the child that lived and mine that didn’t were vaginally delivered but should have been C-sections. In my case I am small boned, I had two beautiful healthy babies afterwards, both by C-section, I gave birth the following year, same month, so it took me 18 months of pregnancy to bring a baby home. My doctor bragged that he didn’t use forceps, and did this the day after the birth and after the baby had been whisked away to a children’s hospital in Newark, NJ after he had turned blue in the nursery. He died at 6 weeks old of a cerebral hemorrhage. I had a perfect pregnancy and he was perfect in every other way. The doctor at the children’s hospital was so saddened, it was all over his face, he knew it shouldn’t have happened. My baby was in with the preemies in the neonatal unit, he was the biggest one in there, 7.7 lbs at birth and he even gained a little more during his 6 weeks of life. Without suing who knows how many more babies the bastard doctor killed in these last 35 years.

Also, my daughter went through nearly the same thing as me. She’s a little heavier than I was but same height. She went through nearly full labor but the baby wasn’t coming out. We had both mentioned the possibility of needing a c-section to her doctor when she was pregnant but were ignored. She needed an emergency C-section when the baby’s heartbeat was fading..her doctor used suction instead of forceps trying to get him out, most barbaric thing I’ve seen when I looked up what that is, and it stretched the baby’s head to near cone-shape..it took quite a while for it to look normal even though the doctor said it would be days. My husband and I were literally dying in the waiting room reliving what happened to us, not believing it was happening to our daughter. The hospital plays musical chimes over a speaker system when a baby is born..when those chimes went off for our beautiful grandson Nathan, almost 8 yrs. ago now, tears were flowing everywhere.

To the subject at hand, I still wish we had sued.


24 posted on 01/05/2014 4:10:19 AM PST by tina07 (In loving memory of my father,WWII Vet. CBI 10/16/42-12/17/45, d. 11/1/85)
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To: Kozak

This is what I was talking about:

“Car Mechanic Dreams Up a Tool to Ease Births”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/health/new-tool-to-ease-difficult-births-a-plastic-bag.html?_r=0


25 posted on 01/05/2014 4:11:15 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: Kozak

And after reading the article, the method “inflates” the bag to grip, as opposed to vacuum. My memory about it was not that good.


26 posted on 01/05/2014 4:13:33 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: tina07

and they nearly killed my daughter, between going through labor and then a C-section, she lost so much blood her lips were white. There are good doctors and there are not so good doctors. Like my mother says, some pass at the bottom of the class.


27 posted on 01/05/2014 4:15:36 AM PST by tina07 (In loving memory of my father,WWII Vet. CBI 10/16/42-12/17/45, d. 11/1/85)
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To: Texas Fossil

Since delivering the head is the hard part, not sure how often this device would help. If the head is stuck in the birth canal, how do you slip the bag over it to inflate?
Got to admit not familiar with the device. Just know from my previous experience that these situations are the stuff of nightmares.


28 posted on 01/05/2014 4:24:13 AM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: savedbygrace
Olivia Marie Coats lived for five days after her parents allege a forceps delivery crushed her little skull and caused brain death.

That sentence ought to be taken out and shot until dead. What the reporter meant to say is that the baby lived for five days after a forceps delivery. Not five days after her parents did their alleging.

FWIW.

30 posted on 01/05/2014 4:48:22 AM PST by savedbygrace (But God!)
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To: savedbygrace
Olivia Marie Coats lived for five days after her parents allege a forceps delivery crushed her little skull and caused brain death.

That sentence ought to be taken out and shot until dead. What the reporter meant to say is that the baby lived for five days after a forceps delivery. Not five days after her parents did their alleging.

FWIW.

31 posted on 01/05/2014 4:51:37 AM PST by savedbygrace (But God!)
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To: savedbygrace

Need more coffee!


32 posted on 01/05/2014 4:52:13 AM PST by savedbygrace (But God!)
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To: Kozak

Thanks.

I did not remember that this had been used in so few cases. And I understand your description of the issue of difficult births.

I have no medical experience with this problem. But on livestock I do. Have pulled a lot of calves. Not a job I like, and results are not always predictable. But calves are pulled breech, which gives a way to assist, chain on the back legs.


33 posted on 01/05/2014 4:55:37 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: Kozak

And I think the bag is inserted before the head is in the birth canal. This is not the emergency procedure. but remember this is still apparently experimental.


34 posted on 01/05/2014 4:58:21 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: Kozak

Odon childbirth device: Car mechanic uncorks a revolution

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25137800

This article has better illustration of the problem and the method.


35 posted on 01/05/2014 5:01:54 AM PST by Texas Fossil
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To: Joann37

too true


36 posted on 01/05/2014 7:09:42 AM PST by Nifster
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To: tina07

Thank you for sharing your experience. I understand now, the many reasons one might sue even after a baby’s death. Thank goodness you and your husband had enough faith to try again for a baby. Some couples don’t make it through such an episode and stay together. There may be hard feelings that never go away about something the other said in a moment of unexpected anguish. I’m certain those bells were the most beautiful sound a parent (or grandparent) could hear. I don’t know if hospitals still do it that way.
My sympathies for the loss of your firstborn.


37 posted on 01/05/2014 11:55:31 AM PST by lee martell
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