Birth Injuries Following Fetal Distress
Those of us who have had children are familiar with fetal monitoring. Most people have also seen it in movies, television, or in photos; the monitors strapped to a mother’s belly that print out data on strips of paper. Fetal monitoring during pregnancy and labor enables medical providers to see the strength of your baby’s heartbeat while at the same time gather information about your contractions. This monitoring is important as it can alert your doctor about fetal distress.
Fetal monitoring is used to determine whether the baby is getting enough oxygen and blood. If the child is deprived of oxygen, it may suffer brain damage, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) that can lead to many lifelong injuries including cerebral palsy.
Fetal Distress during Pregnancy
Fetal distress during pregnancy can indicate trouble for both mom and baby. If a doctor believes the baby is in distress during pregnancy, efforts must be taken immediately to correct the problem or deliver the baby. Some causes of fetal distress during pregnancy include:
- Placenta abruption
- Umbilical cord compression
- Maternal illness including preeclampsia and gestational diabetes
Healthy babies have stable heartbeats and consistent movement patterns in utero. Babies who are oxygen deprived experience a decreased heartbeat and do not move as much or at all. Inform your doctor of changes in your baby’s kick counts.
Distress during Labor
Fetal distress during labor can indicate that the baby needs to be delivered immediately, even possibly by C-Section. There are signs and symptoms that can signal problems with the baby and the need for medical intervention. Notify your doctor immediately if you have the following symptoms:
- Discharge of pink fluids which can indicate placenta previa
- Your membranes rupture and the fluid is greenish
- No fetal activity
As stated above, there are conditions that can cause fetal distress. During labor, fetal distress can indicate the need for immediate intervention to deliver the baby.
Fetal monitoring during labor can indicate that the baby is in distress, for example, if they have a low heart rate. If the fetal monitoring equipment is ignored, malfunctioning or is used improperly, critical information can be missed and your child can be injured.
Fetal Distress Can Lead to Significant Injuries
Fetal distress most commonly means the baby is being deprived of oxygen. Our organs need oxygen and blood flow to stay alive and healthy. Lack of oxygen to organs, including the brain, can cause severe birth injuries including cerebral palsy.
If your baby was injured due to a failure to properly address signs of distress, you might need an attorney to help you hold the accountable party responsible. Chelsie King Garza is available for a free consultation today.