The Law Offices of John Phebus

Birth practice may harm Arizona patients

During a delivery, it is common for doctors in Arizona and around the country to use electronic fetal monitoring to catch any complications as soon as possible. An electrode is placed on the baby's scalp to monitor its heart rate and other vital signs during delivery. While it may make sense that monitoring the baby can reduce the odds of a mishap during delivery, it may not be necessary.

A review conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that there was no measurable effect on the number of deaths of infants or women when EFM was used. In fact, it may cause more problems as there is a higher likelihood of C-sections or vacuum deliveries due to extra monitoring. Despite this, it is one of the most popular practices in America with 85 percent of women receiving either external or internal EFM.

However, one woman's story shows that relying too much on technology can have its pitfalls. In 2003, she was giving birth at a hospital in Idaho when an electrode fell off of the baby's head. Instead of consulting with the woman, the doctor order a vacuum delivery despite the lack of evidence that a problem existed. She suffered serious injuries that may have been prevented had the delivery been allowed to progress in a natural manner.

If a mother is injured during a delivery, an attorney may be able to assist with a hospital negligence lawsuit. Both the doctor who made the error and the facility where it happened may be held liable for the resulting injury or injuries. Compensation may be available to cover medical bills and lost wages or lost future earnings. If the baby is injured as well, compensation may be available to cover any increased costs of caring for the child.

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