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Disregarding distress signs may result in birth injuries

Oregon obstetricians, or OBs, are used to closely monitoring pregnant women’s conditions to ensure safety for them and their infants. While it is true that no two pregnancies are the same, it is also true that women and infants often show signs of distress that alert OBs to health problems during pregnancy, labor or delivery. If an OB fails to diagnose an adverse health problem or fails to act swiftly in accordance with protocol to help resolve a problem, birth injuries may result.

Signs of maternal or fetal distress can alert an OB that a vaginal delivery would not be safe for either the mother in question or her child. In such cases, an emergency C-section is typically ordered. The average OB knows how to recognize distress during the months leading up to labor and throughout the birthing process.

Symptoms that are commonly associated with maternal or fetal distress

When a woman is having a baby, her medical team will check her vital signs numerous times throughout the birthing process. A heart rate that is too fast or slow or similar issues with blood pressure should alert an OB that a patient’s condition is high risk. Fetal distress as well often presents symptoms, such as meconium present in the amniotic sac, irregular heart rate or lack of fetal movements. If an infant in the womb has a heart rate that is too slow, it suggests oxygen deprivation, while a heart rate exceeding normal parameters suggests that a baby has a fever or is in acute distress.

Medical negligence places moms and babies at risk for birth injuries

There is a term in the medical industry known as a ‘‘never event,‘‘ which is an event that should never occur but does that causes injury to a patient. OBs are trained to recognize signs of maternal or fetal distress and know what to do to help resolve most issues. If substandard care has caused birth injuries to a mother or infant, legal steps may be taken to seek accountability against those who were responsible for the incident.