Law Office of Robert A. Miller
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Notifying Oregon mothers of health risks before delivery

Expectant Oregon mothers no doubt hope the birth of their children is free of complications. However, sometimes problems in delivery can suddenly arise, necessitating quick decisions by a doctor to deliver the child. In the heat of an emergency, though, there may not be time for the doctor to give the mother the information she needs.

According to Heathline, a common example of a birth complication is when a baby has trouble pushing through the birth canal during a natural birth. In this case, a doctor may resort to other methods to help the child through. Typically, either a vacuum or a forceps will be employed to assist in the birth. A forceps is a medical instrument that cradles the baby’s skull to help the child’s head through the birth canal. Forceps also apply traction to make the baby’s journey easier. A vacuum, on the other hand, uses suction and traction to guide the baby’s head through the canal.

However, neither method is without risk. A forceps is more likely than a vacuum to cause vaginal tearing. Even though such tears can be repaired by a doctor, they can also prolong recovery periods. Vacuum usage, if it fails, can necessitate a cesarean delivery which can further increase complication risks for the mother and child. Finally, both vacuum extraction and forceps can also boost the risks of cephalhematoma or retinal hemorrhage in the baby.

It is important that Oregon mothers understand these risks before a delivery. According to Oregon law, physicians are to obtain informed consent of a patient by explaining the proposed treatment or procedure in general terms, including alternative treatments and procedures that are available, and finally, any risks that may be posed by the treatment or procedure. Additionally, the physician or assistant should ask the patient if the patient desires a more detailed explanation, and should be ready to provide it unless it would be materially detrimental to the patient.

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