You place a lot of trust in your doctor when your pregnant. After all, your physician isn't just providing you with care. They are helping ensure that your baby also has the best possible start to life. Most of the time, doctors who work with pregnant women and deliver babies do the right thing for their patients. The average birth is uneventful and results in a healthy mother and child.
However, some doctors can end up feeling burned out or overextended by their career path. The demands of constantly tending to women going through labor may lead doctors to cut corners or disconnect from the critical nature of their job. Doctor and their support staff can fail to adequately monitor both mother and child. The end result of this oversight may be a tragic and otherwise preventable birth injury.
Modern equipment allows doctors to monitor mother and child
For long periods of time, doctors could only really monitor the health of the mother. The status of the child was largely a guess. Modern technology has improved what doctors can do for unborn children. There are now several different kinds of fetal monitoring systems that can detect distress or other signs of medical problems in unborn babies.
Many doctors use external fetal monitoring, with devices that attach outside the mother's body. These monitors detect heart rate and can alert a doctor to slow or elevated heart rates. Those changes in heart rate can be warning signs of distress. There are also internal monitors that can be used once the mother's water has broken.
However, for these monitors to do their job, they must be properly maintained and carefully watched. If a doctor or nurse fails to notice signs of distress, medical staff may not intervene in time to prevent birth injuries, which often result from protracted periods of distress or inadequate oxygen supply.
Families have options when medical negligence causes birth injury
Many forms of birth injuries can lead to lifelong consequences. Babies who would otherwise have been healthy will now require more care and may have difficulty with tasks, such as walking, themselves.
The end result may be a much higher burden on the family in terms of care, as well as expense related to the development and health of that infant. When a birth injury results from a doctor's failure to adequately monitor a baby, the family may have the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
A medical malpractice claim can help you connect with financial compensation for the injuries your baby suffered. More importantly, a successful claim will help other patients identify the doctor as a potential source of risk and help prevent future injuries to other unsuspecting parents.