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When inadequate monitoring results in infant oxygen deprivation

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2018 | Birth Injury

The labor process is dangerous to both mother and infant. Little issues, like torn tissue, can rapidly progress into major problems, like a hemorrhage. In order to reduce these issues, most births take place at a hospital, where interventions of every kind are readily available. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff attending births will focus on carefully and continually monitoring both mother and unborn baby to prevent unnecessary complications.

Nurses may check the blood pressure and heart rate of the mother at regular intervals during labor. They will also hook up a device to monitor the unborn baby during labor. These electronic fetal monitors are essential to early detection of issues. Sometimes, when medical professionals don’t engage properly with monitoring or the machinery fails, the end result is tragic.

Fetal monitoring is an important part of labor and delivery care

Fetal monitoring typically involves using special devices to track the heart rate of the infant. It will track the changes in heart rate and help medical professionals determine if emergency intervention is necessary. Electronic fetal monitoring can tell doctors when an infant has gone into distress and is at risk of developing birth injuries or dying.

Failing to properly attach the fetal heart rate monitor, forgetting to regularly check the infant’s process and ignoring signs of fetal distress, such as elevated heart rate between contractions, could result in otherwise preventable injuries to mother or child. Whether due to a staff mistake or an equipment malfunction, inadequate monitoring is a serious issue that puts your unborn baby at risk.

Fetal monitoring helps prevent oxygen deprivation in labor

Oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery, also called perinatal hypoxia, may play a part in a number of birth injuries and even newborn mortality. Perinatal means right before and after birth, while hypoxia refers to lack of adequate oxygen in the body. If you have heard doctors use this term when discussing your infant or labor, it could be an indicator that inadequate fetal monitoring impacted your pregnancy outcome.

There are many reasons why infants experience decreased oxygen flow during labor. Compression of the umbilical cord is a common issue. Sometimes, simply having the mother move to a new position will alleviate the issue. Other times, however, immediate medical intervention is required to prevent serious birth injuries.

Extended periods of perinatal hypoxia can result in preventable brain damage or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Encephalopathy is any condition or disease that alters the brain structure or function, so HIE refers to any kind of brain issue resulting from oxygen deprivation during birth. This brain damage can cause all kinds of symptoms and conditions, including cerebral palsy. Families whose newest member has a preventable birth injury may find themselves saddled with extreme medical debt


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