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Baby Girl Dies After Forceps Delivery

The family of a now deceased baby girl laid her to rest just five days after her birth.  Olivia Marie, the daughter of Rachel Melancon and Allen Coats, died shortly after her delivery by forceps, prompting the couple to sue Dr. George T. Backardjiev of the Medical Center of Southeast Texas.  According to the couple, Dr. Backardjiev refused to perform a Cesarean section on Rachel, and instead opted to deliver Olivia vaginally using forceps.

Mother Worries About Her Size, Size of the Baby

Rachel is a small woman, standing just 4’11”, and she was concerned about her health and the health of her baby because of Olivia’s size at delivery.  According to Rachel and Allen, Dr. Backardjiev refused to perform the C-section, telling Rachel that it would leave her with a scar.  Olivia’s delivery lasted over 18 hours, during which her heart rate increased, but her mother was told to wait.  Furthermore, Dr. Backardjiev told Rachel that Olivia was facing the wrong way in the birth canal and attempted to manipulate her into a head-down position.  When that failed, the doctor attempted to use forceps, which caused the baby’s head to crack and her spine to break.  Rachel was then taken for an emergency C-section, but it was too late as little Olivia had suffered multiple fractures to her body.

Traumatic Birth Injuries Devastating to Families

Sadly, this story isn’t unique.  Several injuries  can occur during birth and may result in physical impairment or brain damage.  While signs of a disorder such as Erb’s palsy or cerebral palsy may be evident immediately after delivery, some brain injuries may not be identified for years. There is a high risk of birth injury when there is difficult, prolonged labor; improper use of medication by the pregnant mother; or a large fetus or a breech birth.

Our office has represented numerous families who have dealt with birth injuries.  Children who survive can face decades of serious impairment, including seizures, lack of muscle tone, inability to eat and drink normally, and major cognitive deficiencies.  The medical expenses can be financially ruinous to families, to say nothing of the emotional and physical toll of caring for an injured child.


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