Inadequate Fetal Monitoring
Electronic fetal monitoring is used by doctors and medical staff to keep track of the status of the baby during labor and delivery. It can be done externally by placing sensors on the mother’s belly. Another option for fetal monitoring is to attach a monitor to the baby after the mother’s water breaks. Monitoring the baby during labor is important because it lets the medical staff know how the baby is responding to contractions and whether or not the heart rate is staying within the normal range. If problems begin to arise, for example if the baby’s heartrate drops due to oxygen deprivation, the readings on the electronic fetal monitor should make medical staff aware that the baby is in distress. If the baby is being properly monitored, the expectation is that any medical intervention needed to help the delivery will be done in time to avoid any serious or permanent injuries to the baby.
Causes of Inadequate Fetal Monitoring
Fetal heartrate monitoring is supposed to detect fetal compromise due to oxygen deprivation. The monitor itself can only give out readings regarding the baby’s heartrate. The onus is on the medical staff to interpret those readings and make the appropriate medical decisions in the best interest of the health of the baby. Medical staff should be well trained and experienced in reading and interpreting the information produced by electronic fetal monitors. Hospitals should also have plans of action in place for situations that arise when a baby is in distress.
CHILD DIAGNOSED WITH A BIRTH INJURY?
Warning Signs Possibly Missed by Inadequate Fetal Monitoring
Inadequate fetal monitoring may lead to any number of birth injuries, especially those injuries related to oxygen deprivation. When warning signs of fetal distress aren’t acted upon immediately, the baby could suffer a birth injury. The following conditions could be warning signs that the baby is distressed during labor:
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Bradycardia (decreased heartbeat)
- Abnormal variability
- Fetal heart rate decelerations
- Abnormal heart rate pattern
Are You Eligible for a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
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