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How Could Fetal Distress Affect My Baby?


When a baby experiences fetal distress, the doctors and nurses responsible for the mother and baby must work quickly to prevent either from experiencing irreparable harm. Fetal distress often occurs later in pregnancy, usually when the mother is in labor. If the baby is in distress, his or her heartbeat will change, either by increasing, decreasing, or showing irregular activity. Fetal distress can be extremely serious, which is why medical professionals must identify the potential problem and respond accordingly.

If medical professionals are monitoring the unborn baby and mother closely, they should be able to spot fetal distress as it occurs and implement a variety of tactics to either decrease the stress of the situation or take more drastic action to deliver the baby. If fetal distress is not addressed, the baby and mother could suffer serious consequences.

Understanding Fetal Distress

When dealing with childbirth, it’s important to remember that no two births are exactly alike. However, as unpredictable as the birth process can be, there are certain protocols nurses and doctors must follow when a baby shows signs of fetal distress. If the medical staff fails to identify the problem and respond quickly and correctly, it could result in significant harm to both mother and child.

For decades, nurses and doctors have been able to utilize fetal heartrate monitors to observe the baby’s condition during pregnancy and, most often, during the childbirth process. There are several different methods for fetal heart monitoring, but the most commonly used technology nowadays is the EFM, (or the Electronic Fetal Heart Monitoring). However, doctors may also use hand-held Doppler ultrasound devices or other tools.

What Causes Fetal Distress?

Fetal distress can be caused by any type of issue that occurs during the birth process, including a uterine rupture, an umbilical cord issue, infection, of prolonged labor. Some women may be more disposed to suffer fetal distress during birth, especially if they have conditions such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, hypertension, anemia, or some type of chronic or serious illness.

Potential Side Effects

When fetal distress is detected, the doctor or nurse should respond immediately by giving the mother oxygen or fluids, administering medication, adjusting the mother’s position, or, in extreme cases, delivering the baby immediately via C-section. If left unchecked, fetal distress can lead to brain damage, developmental delays, functional impediments, or even death to the mother and/or baby.

If you suspect your child was harmed because he or she was distressed during the delivery process, make sure you know what to do next. Caring for an injured child can be extremely challenging and difficult, both emotionally and financially, which is why it’s important to seek compensation from the liable party.

Contact Rash Mueller. today to discuss your case with our firm.

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