The purpose of this educational article is the help you understand why fetal distress can be dangerous for your baby. As birth injury attorneys we help families who have experienced birth trauma. For many of these families the medical condition HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a present diagnosis. In addition, in some instances cerebral palsy or CP may be a subsequent diagnosis.
At the conclusion of this article you will understand from a medical legal standpoint why fetal distress can be dangerous for your baby and in some instances lead to an HIE diagnosis.
What Is Fetal Distress?
For the context of this article fetal distress is a condition in which a baby is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery. During labor and delivery there are certain tools that doctors, and nurses use to help understand a baby’s well-being during the process. One of those tools is the electronic fetal heart monitor. The monitor can help medical professionals understand a baby’s well-being during labor and delivery.
For example, the fetal heart monitor can gauge whether the baby’s heart rate is in the normal range. A normal heart rate is between 120 to 160 beats per minute. If the baby’s heart rate is above 160 beats per minute for a considerable amount of time the medical condition tachycardia can be present. On the other hand, if the baby’s heart rate is below around 100 beats per minute for a considerable amount of time the medical condition is bradycardia. Either of these conditions coupled with other problems on the monitor can strongly suggest that the baby is in fetal distress.
In addition to heart rate, the monitor can also reveal certain types of patterns. For example, it can detect the presence of decelerations and accelerations. Also, the monitor can reveal heart variability. All these things and more are crucial in understanding how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery.
Why Fetal Distress Can Be Dangerous For Your Baby
Fetal distress can be dangerous for a baby because of what can cause the distress. In some instances, fetal distress will be related to blood and oxygen issues. When blood and oxygen issues are present there is always a concern for serious injury. One does not have to be a medical doctor to understand that we as humans need blood and oxygen to survive. When there are issues with blood and oxygen, especially profusion issues, there is a threat for a brain injury.
The above paragraph is what can make fetal distress so dangerous for some children. When the distress is present doctors and nurses must diagnose the condition and treat it accordingly. If conservative treatments are not working, then an emergency C-section may be warranted.
If you have more questions about your baby’s fetal distress and injury as a result, pick up the phone and give me a call. I talk with families like yours all the time about these issues and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP