Throughout much of pregnancy, the condition of both a mother and her unborn child are only subject to monthly medical exams. However, once a woman begins active labor, it is standard practice to have medical professionals monitor both mother and child until after a successful delivery.
Things can go wrong in just a few moments and lead to life-threatening injuries to the mother or permanent birth injuries for the baby. Unfortunately, improper fetal monitoring may mean that a preventable issue gets worse even after a mother seeks care in the hospital.
Improper monitoring is a known issue in labor and delivery care
So many things can go wrong during labor and delivery that endanger both mother and child. The baby could shift or descend into the birth canal, putting pressure on the umbilical cord and restricting the flow of oxygen that they receive. The stress or exhaustion from the delivery process may result in the baby going into distress.
Fetal monitoring allows hospital staff to quickly catch signs of changes to a baby’s heart rate that would indicate something is wrong. When staff members don’t properly maintain monitoring equipment, when they don’t check the monitoring equipment in person routinely add or when they don’t react quickly to an alarm, things can go terribly wrong.
Researchers in other countries have found that inadequate fetal monitoring plays a role in roughly half of the cases of birth injury due to lack of oxygen during labor and delivery. Identifying inadequate fetal monitoring as a contributing factor for your child’s birth injury could be a reason to bring a medical malpractice claim against the medical professionals or facility involved.