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Fetal monitoring errors can cause birth injuries

| Sep 17, 2019 | Birth Injuries

Medical equipment is essential in ensuring the health of the mother and baby before and during labor. Fetal monitors play a huge part in maintaining knowledge about the health of the baby.

Electronic fetal monitoring is a bedside device that provides graphic and numerical information on the heart rate of the baby, as well as maternal uterine activity. This must be carefully monitored by obstetricians and nurses so that fetal distress can be effectively treated.

The majority of the time, electronic fetal monitoring is an extremely precise way to keep track of the health of the baby. However, errors do still occur. If nurses and obstetricians are negligent or make careless mistakes in their monitoring, newborns can suffer from birth injuries that could affect them for their entire lives.

What are the most common types of fetal monitoring errors?

Human error is the most common cause of fetal monitoring issues. There are three main pieces of data that the electronic fetal monitor displays. These are the heart rate of the fetus, the heart rate of the mother and the recording of uterine contractions. Errors can occur when a medical professional mistakes the fetus’ heart rate as that of the mother’s. They may also fail to monitor the uterine contractions appropriately.

If a medical professional fails to recognize that the fetus is showing signs of distress, they may not take action to perform a C-section in time.

What types of birth injuries occur as a result of fetal monitoring errors?

Fetal distress can be a sign that the fetus is not getting enough oxygen. This is known as birth asphyxia. This can be caused by a compressed umbilical cord, or through the compression of a baby’s head due to contractions. A lack of blood flow to the placenta can also reduce the supply of oxygen to the fetus. If the fetus suffers from birth asphyxia, they may be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

If you believe that your child’s birth injury was caused by negligent fetal monitoring by a medical professional, you may be able to take action to gain compensation. Doing so can help you to get compensation, and it can also contribute to creating a higher standard of medical care during labor.

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