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The dangers of failing to monitor a baby

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Both the mother and her child are subjected to extreme stress during labor. Doctors and medical staff must monitor the baby’s heart rate to ensure it is healthy and respond quickly if any problems occur. Despite medical advances, healthcare personnel sometimes fail to observe newborns, putting them at risk.

What is fetal monitoring?

While the mother is in labor, fetal monitoring is done to check if the baby is healthy or in trouble. Fetal monitoring is conducted through external or internal monitoring, which looks at the baby’s heart rate and the mother’s contractions.

It is normal for less oxygen to reach the infant during contractions. While most newborns can cope with less oxygen, others cannot and may have an irregular heart rate. Fetal monitoring is supposed to help identify any of those changes and alert healthcare providers to act quickly.

Fetal monitoring negligence can lead to health complications

Fetal monitoring negligence occurs when doctors or other medical professionals fail to watch after the child during labor and delivery effectively. Monitoring mistakes may happen when the medical team:

  • Does not interpret the strip correctly
  • Fails to monitor the baby as frequently as needed
  • Proceeds with labor even though the baby’s heart rate has changed
  • Interprets the strip correctly but fails to act quickly or appropriately

When the baby’s heart rate changes and there is no proper action, the newborn may suffer from oxygen deprivation. The effects of oxygen deprivation in babies may vary, but the results can be devastating.

Doctors believe 10 minutes of oxygen deprivation in babies may cause brain damage, and 25 minutes can be fatal. Other complications may include asphyxia, paralysis, nerve damage, cerebral palsy, or stillbirth.

After hours of labor, the last thing any parent wants to see is their baby in pain. Parents only want what is best for their kids, including ensuring a long, healthy life. Proving medical malpractice is complicated, but a birth injury lawyer may help parents fight for the compensation their child deserves.