Failure to Detect Fetal Distress
Most often, the term fetal distress refers to issues with lack of oxygen during pregnancy. However, there are other factors that may be considered fetal distress and it is important for your physician to properly monitor the pregnancy in order to mitigate risks.
For the medical professional, failure to detect fetal distress could result in delayed treatment which can cause the baby developing a serious condition. There are many instances in which doctors and nurses fail to detect fetal distress.
Medical professionals may fail to perform the following:
- Monitoring the heart rate of the baby
- Checking for uterine contractions
- Reading fetal monitors correctly
- Maintaining the fetal monitoring equipment
- Taking action if distress is detected
When this happens and action is not taken to provide medical attention, the baby can suffer serious and even long-term side effects. It is important for the doctor to monitor the fetus and mother throughout the pregnancy to ensure the process is as safe as possible.
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Signs of Fetal Distress
Because it is so important to monitor the mother and the fetus throughout the pregnancy, it is important to recognize the signs of possible fetal distress.
Fetal distress may be a result of certain precursors such as:
- Pregnancy induced hypertension
- Meconium-stained amniotic fluid
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- Post-term pregnancies
Using fetal heart rate monitoring, the medical professional may recognize the various signs of distress. They may have to perform an emergency cesarean section if something is wrong.
Are There Treatment Options?
In order to treat fetal distress, the doctor may want to find a way to avoid unnecessary procedures. This includes intrauterine resuscitation in which the mother’s position is adjusted, she is kept hydrated, and has proper oxygen. There may be other treatment options, but if none of these work, an emergency cesarean section may be required.
Fetal Distress and Brain Damage
When a doctor detects fetal distress and does not act quickly to alleviate the situation, the fetus may lose enough oxygen to suffer brain damage. This is an act of negligence on behalf of the doctors and / or nurses. It is important for medical professionals to make sure their monitoring of the fetus is done accurately and correctly.
If your baby suffered a serious condition due to the failure to detect fetal distress, you may have a claim against the medical professional. The lawyers at Aldous \ Walker are dedicated to making sure the families we represent have the strong advocacy they need to seek compensation after a serious birth injury.
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