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Doctors must check for and respond to fetal distress

When parents in Albuquerque go in to the hospital in order to have their child, their emotions are probably a mix of excitement and anxiety. They may be overjoyed at the thought of welcoming their child into the world, yet at the same time realize that the process of labor and delivery is a painful experience that can also be dangerous for both the mother and unborn child.

Because the process is still risky even with all of our modern technological advances, parents are placing a lot of trust in their doctors and other caregivers when they come to a hospital to have their babies. This is one of many reasons why it is so important for doctors to keep a close eye on the progress of labor and delivery and immediately notice, and treat, any problems.

There are many ways doctors can monitor for fetal distress, and there really is no excuse not to do so. In fact, the standard of care for labor and delivery is for a doctor to do routine and frequent checks to make sure that the baby's heart rate is normal and is not showing any signs that the baby is struggling.

If there are signs of distress, then the doctor has an obligation to take the appropriate steps to protect the baby's health, even if that means surgically removing the baby via C-Section as quickly as possible. When a doctor delays or messes up this process in some way, the newborn can wind up with a serious birth injury, including cerebral palsy, brain damage or other serious conditions.

When this happens, the doctor who made the mistake has an obligation to make things right both to his or her young patient and the family who will no doubt have medical bills, rehabilitation expenses and other costs, including the emotional toll of seeing their child struggle with preventable injuries.

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