Mothers who are pregnant rely on healthcare practitioners to monitor the health of themselves and their babies. The medical professionals are supposed to advise them of various issues and problems, which may ensue within the childbirth or pregnancy stages.
Physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals are responsible for duty of care to pregnant mothers.
They need to monitor and diagnose diligently any problems with childbirth in order to avoid errors, which can lead to catastrophic injury or fatality of both child and mother.
Labor and delivery team members can fluctuate based on any chosen facility for the birth of a child.
Various equipment is used by healthcare personnel to monitor a baby’s heartbeat, mother’s vital signs, and uterine contractions.
The obtained information from the equipment can identify problems which ensue during the child’s birth; thus, action can be pursued to prevent severe injury or death to the baby or mother.
It is the physician’s responsibility along with delivery and labor personnel to interpret and read properly the information to protect the health of baby and the mother.
A vast range of indications and symptoms can refer to fetal distress. This can be present prior to and during childbirth, which can indicate that the situation is problematic for the fetus.
A monitor for fetal heart rate is usually used in detecting irregularities in the heart rate of the fetus, such as heart rates that are slow or rapid after contractions.
Irregularities can result in catastrophic injury or fatality if there’s a delay in delivery.A Lawsuit for Stillbirth Medical Malpractice
Here’s an example of stillbirth malpractice. Imagine a Midwest couple expecting their fourth child. Unfortunately, the mother vomited uncontrollably while in labor.
To indicate the heart rate of the baby and any existing problems, the fetal heart monitor began to indicate fetal distress signs.
The fetal heart rate monitor showed later critically late, after a contraction, low heart rate, very low heart rate, and very high heart rate. The fetal heart rate then became mysteriously normal.
The monitor started to pick up the heart rate of the mother rather than that of the baby, which is why the heart rate seemingly became normal.
This should’ve been clear to the delivery and labor nurse, and the OB/GYN physician from merely examining the record of the monitor of the heart rate of the mother.
The physician’s and nurse’s failure to identify the fetal distress, and the display on the monitor of the heart rate of the mother resulted in stillbirth. A claim was filed for stillbirth malpractice, and the case was ultimately settled.
Patients place their faith in physicians and healthcare personnel to offer treatments and diagnoses that are accurate.
A stillbirth malpractice will ensue when a physician fails to identify severe symptoms, like fetal distress. Not only is there a breach of trust in the physician-patient relationship, but the health of both baby and mother is at-risk.