WINCHESTER — A doctor who used forceps to deliver a baby is being accused of causing partial blindness in the baby’s left eye.
In a lawsuit filed Friday in Winchester Circuit Court, Dr. George F. Craft is accused of botching the induced delivery of William Greyson Clements on Dec. 1, 2015, at Winchester Medical Center. The lawsuit, which seeks $3 million, was filed by attorney David J. Dickens on behalf of William’s parents, Melissa and William Clements.
Dickens wrote in the lawsuit that Craft told the parents their baby wasn’t progressing properly through the birth canal, and he would be performing the delivery with forceps. The procedure involves encircling the baby’s head with forceps.
However, the lawsuit states that Craft didn’t tell the parents about the risks of a forceps delivery, which include potential injuries to the eye, face and skull. It also states that Craft didn’t give Melissa Clements the option of having a caesarean section or a vacuum extraction in which a vacuum is applied to the baby’s head to ease it out of the birth canal.
“Had Melissa Clements been [promptly] and appropriately informed of the risks and benefits of the available delivery options, she would have opted to proceed with a caesarean section,” Dickens wrote. “As a direct and proximate result of Dr. Craft’s failure to obtain informed consent as described above, Greyson suffered severe injuries, including facial and skull fractures, shoulder dystocia — an injury in which the baby’s shoulders get stuck inside the mother’s pelvis — subdural hematoma — blood on the brain — and permanent injury to his left eye.”
Dickens wrote in the lawsuit that despite having problems placing the forceps on the baby’s head, Craft continued the procedure. After about 30 minutes of attempting to appropriately position the forceps, Dickens said Craft was able to deliver the baby. However, there were complications, and William was taken to Inova Fairfax Women’s Hospital in Falls Church several hours after his birth. Dickens said doctors at Inova attributed William’s injuries to the forceps delivery.
Dickens wrote that William will never have full sight in his left eye and has had right eye tearing, causing him to have to wear an eye patch. Dickens said William’s injuries have caused emotional trauma for Melissa Clements.
He wrote that Craft discontinued practicing obstetrics in 2016 and now practices gynecology.
Speaking for her husband on Tuesday, Kim Craft said he wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit. Attorney Susan Mitchell, who represents Craft, didn’t return calls.