The term "fetal distress" generally refers to a lack of oxygen traveling to a baby before, during and after the labor process. It can be a serious complication and when it is left unmonitored and without treatment it can result in infants suffering serious and sometimes lifelong complications. This post will discuss one of the ways that New Mexico doctors may monitor their patients to ensure that babies undergoing the birthing process avoid fetal distress and the conditions that may serve as indicators that fetal distress will occur during labor.
One of the main ways that doctors monitor for fetal distress is through the use of electric fetal heart rate monitoring. Electric FHR monitoring allows doctors to assess a variety of data in the important hours before a baby is born. This form of monitoring tracks a mother's contractions and a baby's heart rate and changes therein that may indicate hypoxia. However, in some cases electric FHR monitoring may yield inaccurate results and a baby may be delivered via Caesarian section when a vaginal delivery would have been appropriate.
There are several precursor conditions that may suggest a baby will endure fetal distress when it begins the labor and delivery process. One such condition is oligohydramnios, where the fluid of the amniotic sac is lower than normal. Another sign that fetal distress may occur during labor is a birth that occurs more than two weeks beyond the baby's due date. A doctor's failure to monitor a baby's development and progress during pregnancy may result in that child experiencing fetal distress when they come into the world.
This blog post does not offer any medical or legal advice. Rather, it offers a very generalized and incomplete assessment of a serious issue that can occur during labor and delivery. Individuals who fear that their children may have experienced fetal distress or other preventable birth injuries or complications are encouraged to learn more about their legal rights with the help of personal injury attorneys.