Why is a Fetal Monitor So Important?

During labor/delivery doctors use special equipment to monitor the baby’s heart rate. This is important so it can detect any variation from the normal pattern. A normal fetal heart rate is a good indication that labor is progressing well, and the baby isn’t in any apparent distress. Although you think this will be uncomfortable and you don’t want it; I would think twice. This is very important. The more I have read and seen; I would never have a baby without one. There are people who decline this, but why would you? Don’t you want to know your baby is doing okay? I would say, of course you do.

So how is the fetal heartrate obtained? Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is a method of continuously recording the baby’s heartbeat and the contractions of the mother’s uterus. Fetal monitoring provides an ongoing and continuous record of the baby’s condition. Electronic monitoring of the baby’s heart is of two types: internal and external. An internal electrode is placed on the baby’s scalp by way of being inserted through the mother’s cervix. External, two belts are wrapped around the mother’s abdomen.

Why is this necessary? Failure to recognize a fetal heart rate problem in time can have devastating consequences. Some problems that can occur are hypoxia, paralysis, stillbirth, etc. Having the fetal monitor on can gives your healthcare team a chance to take immediate action if they notice a problem. Can you imagine something goes wrong and you declined this? I couldn’t.

What happens when there is negligence in fetal monitoring? Negligence includes failure to identify abnormal heartbeat patterns, failure to monitor when necessary, failure to take timely action when needed, improper interpretation of tracings and confusion between the mother’s and baby’s heart rate. If you feel this has happened to you and there are problems with your baby please call Thomas & Wan, LLP. We can answer all your questions and guide you in the proper direction. Our contact phone number is 713-529-1177.

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