One of the best indicators of a baby’s status during delivery is the fetal heart rate and failure to properly monitor or respond to an abnormal heart rate can cause or exacerbate any birth injuries. An irregular heartbeat can signal the need to address a serious issue that is threatening to cause the child harm and doctors make important decisions during delivery based on the information readily available to them. While it is never the intention for medical professionals to harm their patients, it is important that a child who must suffer his or her entire life because of an error to be able to receive the best care. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers specialize in representing the families of children who have been affected by medical malpractice and negligence-- including the failure to monitor a babies heart rate.
Using Heart Rate to Detect Fetal Distress
There are two ways that a fetal heart rate is monitored. The first is externally, and utilizes a device that is wrapped around the mother’s abdomen in order to detect the child’s heartbeat. Once the baby’s head is engaged, nurses are able to use an internal monitor that is applied to the scalp. This second monitor provides more accurate information in most cases.
Irregular fetal heart rates can warn doctors that the child is in distress and that action needs to be taken to prevent an injury or to save the child’s life. In some cases, it can also indicate a potential complication with the mother as well. An abnormal heart rate can be the result of any of the following conditions.
- Nuchal cord— where the umbilical cord has partially or completely wrapped around the baby’s neck, cutting off circulation to the brain.
- Uterine rupture or a tear in the uterus which can have serious implications to both the mother and child.
- Abnormal positioning, such as being feet first in the birth canal or difficulties resulting from the baby’s head being too large.
- Abnormalities in the strength of contractions.
- Separation of the placenta from the uterine wall.
Inadequate Measures Taken to Address Irregular Heart Rate
When the hospital staff doesn’t take the required measures to prevent injury to the child or mother when it is clear that the baby is in distress, the resulting birth injuries could be considered medical malpractice and the family may be able to file a lawsuit for the cost of care associated with the resulting injuries or conditions as well as any pain and suffering caused.
If you feel that the injuries your child sustained during birth were the result of negligence or malpractice, contact the birth injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney who will evaluate the details of your case and answer any questions you may have.
Our lawyers are located throughout Illinois and have a successful track record handling birth injury cases. If we are unable to collect the compensation that you are entitled to under law, there will be no charge for our services.