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Failure to Heed Fetal Monitor Strips Frequent Source of Indiana Medical Malpractice

Jun 9, 2010 | Birth Injuries, Firm News

Birth injury can be devastating, leaving its victims with serious permanent impairments. Indiana medical malpractice lawyers frequently handle cases where birth injuries could have been prevented if doctors had heeded the warnings provided by fetal monitor strips.

In most deliveries, electronic fetal heart monitoring is used to track how the baby is responding to labor. External fetal heart monitoring is performed by attaching transducers to the mother’s abdomen. The transducers use Doppler ultrasound to detect fetal heart motion, and the information is sent to a fetal heart monitor which calculates and records the fetal heart rate on a continuous strip of paper.

Certain patterns on the strip are indicative of fetal distress. Doctors and labor and delivery nurses are trained to recognize these patterns and respond appropriately. The responses may include repositioning the mother, administering oxygen, or proceeding to immediate delivery via cesarean section. If a healthcare provider fails to recognize and appropriately respond to monitor patterns showing fetal distress, the baby may suffer serious injuries, such as brain damage or even death.

The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. have handled many cases involving the failure to appropriately respond to signs of distress on fetal monitor strips. Contact them for a free consultation.