During labor and delivery, it is essential that a fetus is properly monitored by medical professionals to make sure that the baby is safe. Medical personnel are trained to watch for any problems with the baby and should know how to respond accordingly. A failure to do so can result in serious birth injury or even death.
What is Fetal Monitoring?
Fetal monitoring involves checking on the baby’s heartbeat during labor by using special equipment. If changes in the heart rate are detected, it could be a sign that the baby is having trouble and medical personnel should be able to respond. The baby can be monitored with periodic checks or with electronic fetal monitoring. Electronic fetal monitoring uses equipment to monitor the baby’s heartbeat in response to uterine contractions. It provides an ongoing record that can be read by a doctor or nurse. Electronic fetal monitoring can be external (use of a monitor placed around the belly of the mother) or internal (an electrode placed on a part of the fetus closest to the cervix).
Why is Fetal Monitoring so Important?
Fetal monitoring can help a delivery team monitor the status of a baby’s health throughout labor. By monitoring the infant, doctors can determine if there are any complications, such as a lack of oxygen to the baby. This allows a doctor to make urgent decisions, such as whether to perform an emergency caesarian section.
What Happens if There are Errors in Fetal Monitoring?
When medical professionals make errors in fetal monitoring the consequences can be severe. A doctor may not receive signals that a baby is in distress. Common errors in fetal monitoring include:
- Failure to recognize signs of fetal address
- Failure to correctly read the fetal monitoring device or strips
- Failure to properly place the fetal monitoring device
- A defect in the fetal monitoring device itself
Fetal monitoring errors can lead to a baby being deprived of oxygen which can result in death or serious, life-altering conditions such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which can result in birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and other brain injuries.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to a fetal monitoring error, you should have an experienced medical malpractice attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by medical malpractice. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.