Fetal heartbeat monitors, birth injury and maternal complications

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2020 | Birth Injuries

When Ohio parents are expecting a child, they will undoubtedly want the doctors overseeing the pregnancy to pay strict attention to any health risks that may arise. Medical care is essential, and part of that is monitoring. Still, there are negatives with some methods that are used. If a birth injury occurs, it is important to know how it happened and if a medical error contributed to it.

Many physicians might recommend electronic fetal monitoring (EFM). This is to track the fetal heartbeat and check for health concerns. EFM is not without its risks. Primarily, it tends to stem from EFM being used continuously compared to intermittently. With EFM, the heartbeat is recorded prior to birth and while the child is being born. It also tracks the mother’s contractions. Medical professionals are unsure if it benefits women who are viewed as lower risk. For high-risk cases, physicians believe it can be beneficial.

EFM may cause stress to the mother and baby. This can result in the need for a Cesarean section, a higher chance of requiring forceps or vacuum extraction during labor, labor taking longer, decreased maternal mobility, inaccurate readings, and the mother needing more pain medication. Extensive research has been done about EFM. These studies analyzed pregnancies based on the level of risk. Intermittent EFM use showed no difference. However, mothers who had continuous EFM had 1.7 times greater chance of needing a C-section. The other possible dangers listed were also higher with continuous EFM use.

Many medical professionals may think EFM is necessary, but evidence suggests it hinges on individual circumstances. If there were issues during and after the birth or the child is having problems, EFM may have been a factor. Patients should be cognizant of mistakes made by medical professionals. Should there be any birth-related injuries caused by the doctor, an attorney could help the family file a lawsuit.

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