Birth Injuries

What Is Fetal Distress And How Can It Be Responsible For A Brain Injury?

Historically, the term fetal distress has been used to describe when the baby does not have enough oxygen [1]. Doctors and nurses can use certain tools during labor and delivery, such as the electronic fetal heart monitor, to assist in monitoring how well a baby is handling a vaginal delivery. If “non-reassuring” patterns show on the monitor continue for an extended amount of time, doctors must be prepared to move to an emergency C-section to assist the baby as warranted.

While the fetal heart monitor tracks the baby’s heart rate, among other things, doctors can get an approximation on how the baby is responding to the labor. When fetal distress occurs, an injury to the brain can occur. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a medical condition where a baby can suffer a brain injury due to fetal distress.

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