Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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Inadequate fetal monitoring can lead to birth injuries or death

Most women spend their pregnancy preparing for labor, delivery and life with a baby. That can mean birthing classes, breathing practices, turning an office into a nursery and picking the best OB/GYN around. Expectant mothers place a lot of trust in the medical professionals who attend their pregnancy and birth. Most of the time, doctors and nurses prove that the trust of their patients was well placed. Sometimes, however, people in the medical field can make mistakes.

When that mistake happens during labor and delivery, it can have life and death consequences for the family involved. One medical error that continues to happen is often inadequate fetal monitoring. When a mother comes to the hospital in labor, the staff will check her vital signs, including blood pressure and heart rate. They will also check the unborn baby's vital signs to ensure the child is healthy and not in distress. Failing to keep checking can have disastrous consequences.

Patients can't always tell when something's wrong

Movies and television would have you believe that women in labor have some magical sixth sense about the needs of their baby. In reality, they are often overwhelmed by pain, muscular strain and exhaustion. It is very simple for a mother in labor to not notice if her baby has stopped kicking or otherwise moving in the uterus. The professionals attending the birth need to be aware of the physical state of the mother, as well as the physical state of the baby.

Unexpected things can happen in seconds during labor. The baby can turn, compressing and putting pressure on the umbilical cord. The cord can also become wrapped around the baby's neck. If that happens, the level of oxygen reaching the infant may not be sufficient. The infant will go into distress. Over time, the potential for permanent brain damage and even death increases. That's why doctors and nurses need to be checking at intervals no greater than 30 minutes to see how the baby is coping with labor.

Inadequate fetal monitoring associated with defects and stillbirth

While monitoring alone can't stop a bad outcome to the labor and delivery process, it can help medical professionals to act soon enough in cases of certain issues. An emergency c-section, for example, could prevent birth injuries or the death of the infant. Failing to realize an infant is in distress greatly increases the potential for a negative outcome.

Sometimes, things go wrong during birth that can't be predicted or prevented. Other times, injuries to the infant or mother can be avoided by proper medical care. In cases where medical staff failed to adequately monitor both mother and child, the resulting injuries or death may be the result of medical malpractice, not just unfortunate events during birth.

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Office Location

Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

Annapolis Medical Malpractice Office

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