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Cerebral palsy can result from inadequate fetal monitoring

When a woman is in labor, her body goes through a series of intense physical and chemical processes. The same is true of the infant inside her. Those changes can be dangerous, and for many centuries, childbirth was a leading cause of death among women.

Modern medicine has made labor and delivery safer for both mother and child, but the process is still inherently risky. Modern medicine has developed several critical means of ensuring a healthy delivery, such as monitoring the mother's blood pressure and dilation and the baby's heart rate as well.

During labor, it is critical to know if the mother needs emergency intervention. It is also essential to know if the unborn baby is in distress. Situations change rapidly during labor, and a slight move could change the whole process. When something goes wrong, the baby can go into distress. His or her heart rate will increase, and activity levels could go up or sharply drop off. Labor can easily compress the umbilical cord, cutting the baby off from oxygen. When that happens, your baby needs immediate delivery or medical attention to prevent the potential for serious complications, like cerebral palsy.

Many factors contribute to medical mistakes

There's a lot going on in the labor and delivery wing of any hospital. Nurses, aides and doctors are often incredibly busy, caring for multiple laboring mothers at once. The more patients medical professionals juggle, the more likely it is that a mistake will happen or a problem will be overlooked. Fetal heart rate monitors, which are often the only link to the baby's condition, can stop working or slide out of place. Without immediate replacement, the infant could slip into distress without anyone realizing it.

The longer an unborn baby is in distress or receiving inadequate oxygen, the more likely it is that there will be birth injuries to the child. While oxygen deprivation isn't responsible for as many cases of cerebral palsy as previously believed, it is still possible for an otherwise healthy infant to develop cerebral palsy due to mistakes in monitoring during labor and delivery.

Cerebral palsy can change your life

You spend your pregnancy hoping for a healthy delivery. Complications causing medical issues can cause huge stress for new parents. Even if both parents intended to work, that may not be an option any longer. A child with cerebral palsy may need mobility assistance and around-the-clock care. Medical bills and other expenses can quickly accumulate. Your family shouldn't have to suffer financially because of a mistake made by medical professionals.

If there were monitoring problems during your labor, and your child has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you should consider all of your options, including filing a medical malpractice claim. Doing so can offer your family more security and better care for your child.

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