Having a baby is normally a joyous time. Parents are expecting the labor and delivery to be relatively smooth, and that the medical staff will properly monitor the baby and mother and take care of any potential issues as they arise. Unfortunately, medical professionals are human, and sometime fail in their duties.
Fetal monitoring is used to alert medical staff of signs of distress in the child, including changes in heart rate. Electronic fetal monitoring is used in more than 85 percent of the 4 million live births in the U.S. every year.
According to a recent report by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the use of fetal monitoring does not always produce positive outcomes. If the doctor(s) or nurse(s) fail to recognize signs of distress and respond accordingly, your child runs the risk of permanent brain damage.
New guidelines require a more structured method of monitoring, with particularly close monitoring for women at high risk of complications like those with preeclampsia (hypertension in pregnancy), type 1 diabetes, or possible fetal growth restriction (fetus unable to achieve potential size), etc.
The new guidelines are expected to help medical staff meet certain goals. One such revision was to clarify the terms of the monitoring, which have until now remained quite widely up for interpretation, causing room for error. They have devised a new three-tiered monitoring system to help medical staff be more efficient and consistent in their fetal screening.
- Level one readings are considered normal and do not require intervention.
- level two readings are cause for closer screening and possible testing to establish if there is an issue that needs to be dealt with.
- Level three readings are definitely abnormal and require intervention. This intervention may include giving oxygen to the mother, changing her position, ceasing labor interventions, treating the mother’s hypotension, or immediately delivering the baby. It is up to the medical staff to make the determinations that are safest for the baby and the mother.
The majority of births go quite smoothly and result in a happy, healthy baby and jubilant new parents. Sometimes, though, a doctor’s malpractice can lead to serious issues. If your child suffered an injury at birth and you suspect medical malpractice, you should speak with an birth injury attorney as soon as possible.
Our Dallas birth injury attorneys are experienced in these type of cases and can provide you with a free assessment of your case by calling us at 1-877-405-4313.