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Medical Verdicts

Did misuse of forceps cause dyspareunia?

March 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 3
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<court>Miami-Dade County (Fla) Circuit Court</court>

The day after delivering a healthy baby boy with the assistance of forceps, a 28-year-old woman complained of severe vulvar pain. Her physician assured her that vaginal swelling and bruising were common following forceps delivery. A few weeks later, the woman was seen by the physician’s partner, who observed the injury and referred the patient for further treatment. She was ultimately diagnosed with pudendal nerve damage, and underwent a variety of pain-control procedures by a number of different physicians.

The plaintiff alleged that misuse and misapplication of the forceps caused her injury, which has led to chronic vulvar pain and dyspareunia.

The defendants maintained that the delivery was carried out appropriately, and claimed the woman’s injury was due to the child moving through the birth canal, not to the forceps.

  • The jury returned a defense verdict.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts ( While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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