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  4.  – What risk factors can contribute to fetal distress?

What risk factors can contribute to fetal distress?

Out of all the possible problems that can occur during labor, fetal distress is one of the most common. It happens during birth when the fetus is not getting enough oxygen, often observed through irregular fetal heart rate. It can be a severe delivery complication, potentially endangering the baby’s life.

Doctors usually address fetal distress in the delivery room. However, they can detect and control risk factors that could appear early in the pregnancy, including the following:

  • Anemia
  • Oligohydramnios which happens when the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is insufficient
  • Hypertension caused by pregnancy
  • Pregnancies that last far beyond the usual 42-week period
  • Intrauterine Growth Retardation (IUGR)
  • The presence of the fetus’ stool in the amniotic fluid

Ideally, doctors can regularly monitor the fetus throughout the mother’s pregnancy, giving them time to mitigate the effects of these issues as they catch them early on. Prenatal care plays a crucial role in minimizing the risks of fetal distress during delivery.

Treating fetal distress

Giving birth is often sensitive and unpredictable, requiring doctors to consider the situation thoroughly and react immediately. As soon as they observe signs of fetal distress, they can take various measures to address complications, such as:

  • Improving the mother’s condition by controlling oxygen supply, hydration and position
  • Adding fluid to the amniotic cavity
  • Using therapy to delay labor if it begins too early
  • Giving intravenous hypertonic dextrose as needed
  • Ordering an emergency C-section

It takes significant effort to make decisions quickly and appropriately, especially when both the mother’s and the baby’s lives are at stake. Doctors undergo stringent training to deliver babies safely while implementing the appropriate standard of care.

Mistakes during birth can have grave consequences

Doctors could make mistakes with fetal distress, overdiagnosing or failing to diagnose it correctly. Both might lead to grave repercussions, such as birth injuries or stillbirths. In these incidents, there might be no other option but to file a claim against the health care provider’s negligence. Doing so can help recover much-needed compensation and bring justice for any recklessness during the delivery.