Medical practitioners must watch a fetus during labor and delivery to ensure that the infant is safe. If something goes wrong with the infant, the medical staff should be able to handle it. Not being able to provide care might result in a significant birth injury or even death. A birth injury lawyer in Pittsburgh provides a detailed guide concerning electronic fetal monitoring errors.
What Exactly is Failure to Monitor?
A medical team (doctors, nurses, etc.) must closely monitor women and newborns throughout childbirth to guarantee that no health concerns exist or that any difficulties are caught in time before any severe harm is done.
Medical negligence can occur when healthcare providers fail to follow up on a patient or fail to notice and treat a medical concern; this is known as “failure to monitor,” which can occur during delivery.
Errors in Fetal Monitoring:
A baby’s oxygen supply (medically referred to as hypoxia) is disrupted in utero or at the time of delivery. Several reasons can cause fetal discomfort, which can occur early in pregnancy or even during birth.
Pregnant women are protected from undue damage by medical experts who use fetal monitors to detect signs and symptoms of fetal distress. Fetal distress can be lethal to an unborn child if medical help is not sought quickly or if a medical practitioner fails to recognize the issue.
What is the Procedure for Electrical Fetal Monitoring?
Your baby’s heart rate should serve as a gauge of how well they are coping with your contractions during birth. Internal and exterior fetal monitoring modalities exist. As soon as a woman has dilated her cervix to between two and three centimeters, an electrode can be attached to the baby’s scalp to monitor the baby’s progress. Monitoring a pregnant woman’s contractions and her baby’s heartbeat can be done externally by strapping a belt around her belly that captures both data.
Internal and external monitoring use wires attached to special equipment that regularly records and outputs data in the form of two graphs. The top graphs indicate the fetal heart rate in beats per minute, while the bottom graph shows the mother’s contractions throughout childbirth.
The heart rate of your unborn child can be monitored sporadically or constantly before delivery, depending on the circumstances. Your child’s well-being may just be checked on every hour or so if they look to be doing well. In the case of a high-risk pregnancy, the doctor will likely watch your kid more frequently and maybe even constantly.
If it isn’t properly monitored, oxygen deprivation can cause brain damage, leading to various illnesses, including cerebral palsy.
What Is the Importance of Fetal Monitoring?
Using fetal monitoring, the delivery team can keep tabs on the baby’s well-being during the birth process. Doctors can identify any issues, such as a shortage of oxygen to the newborn, by monitoring the infant. An emergency cesarean section can be performed if the doctor has this information.
What if the Fetal Heart Rate Pattern is Abnormal?
Pregnant women with abnormal fetal heart rate patterns do not always signal there is an issue. The fetus may need more testing to provide a clearer picture of what is going on.
Your health care provider will first investigate the reason for an irregular fetal heart rate pattern. Fetal oxygen may be increased by a variety of methods, including shifting your body posture. It is possible that if these methods fail or if subsequent test results show that your fetus needs immediate delivery, your health care expert may opt to deliver immediately. Cesarean birth or forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery are the most common methods of delivery in this scenario.
What are the Different Kinds of Fetal Monitoring Errors?
There is a possibility that fetal monitoring mistakes performed by irresponsible doctors and hospital workers may have contributed to a child’s birth injury. Fetal monitoring mistakes include the following:
- Medical experts’ inability to correctly recognize irregular embryonic heart rhythms
- Inability to determine if the mother needs more frequent or continuous fetal monitoring.
- The malfunction of a fetal monitoring equipment
- The failure of healthcare providers to respond immediately when there are indicators of fetal distress;
- Misreading a prenatal monitor to discern between the mother’s and fetus’s heartbeats.
- Inadequate usage of a fetal monitor;
- There is a lack of clinical training or expertise in interpreting fetal cardiac rhythms and utilizing a fetal heart monitor.
Injuries that Can Result From a Lack of Monitoring During Pregnancy:
Mistakes committed by medical professionals can lead to various types of birth injuries, which are determined by the type of error and the general health of the newborn. Brain injuries are one of the most prevalent and most devastating forms of birth trauma. Cerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage are all examples of brain injury.
Another common birth injury is brain damage, which a lack of monitoring can cause. Lack of oxygen to the brain is the most common cause of brain injury, resulting in a wide range of impairments and diseases, including cognitive problems, sleep disorders, muscular spasms, organ abnormalities, and feeding difficulties.
Some brain-damaged infants will require long-term rehabilitation and medical attention. People with cerebral palsy, a condition that results from brain injury, are relatively frequent. Cerebral palsy can be moderate or severe, depending on the person. Suffice to say, a child with severe cerebral palsy may not be capable of feeding themselves, walking on their own, or communicating without a communication aid.
Brachial plexus injuries known as Erb’s palsy are very prevalent birth injuries. An excessive amount of pressure on a newborn’s arm during birth might cause a baby to go into convulsions. An infant’s delicate and fragile plexus nerves can be stretched if a doctor does not closely monitor them.
Other birth-related injuries include:
- A disorder of the shoulders
- Cuts and abrasions on the skin
- Swelling of the brain
- Bone fractures
Obtain Legal Advice from a Proficient Lawyer:
Your child’s birth injuries should be evaluated by a medical malpractice attorney who has dealt with similar cases in the past.
Don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys at Pittsburgh Injury Lawyers, P.C. for assistance if your baby was hurt during birth because of inadequate monitoring. If your child has suffered a birth injury, an expert birth injury lawyer in Pittsburgh can help you get the compensation you deserve. To begin working on your case, contact our law firm today.