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Did Unmonitored Fetal Distress Result in Cerebral Palsy?

Did Unmonitored Fetal Distress Result in Cerebral Palsy?

This inquiry came from a 27 year old special education teacher. Her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 2 years old. Mom had concerns about both the hospital and the OB-GYN and their failing to properly pay attention to fetal distress. By in large, the pregnancy was normal. However, the labor was extended (approximately 22 hours). During that time there were several concerns about the fetal heart monitor (FHM) strips. What mom did not understand at the time was that the fetal heart monitor (FHM) monitored both her uterine activity (contractions) as well as the baby’s heart rate/oxygenation. Decelerations in the baby’s heart rate can indicate fetal distress. In evaluating a potential claim of medical malpractice resulting in cerebral palsy it is very important to not only review the medical records but, specifically, the fetal heart monitor (FHM) strips. This data can be reviewed by a labor and delivery nurse and an obstetrician (OB doctor) who in many circumstances will be able to understand if the labor and delivery were handled appropriately or if the fetal distress was not appreciated or properly treated.

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