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Why do doctors need to monitor the fetus to ensure that there is adequate oxygen supply?

Cerebral palsy can be caused be lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery. When a child is deprived of oxygen before, during or after birth, they can face a lifetime of complications, including cerebral palsy.

Determining the overall health of the child

When a mother arrives at the hospital to deliver her baby, she should be connected to a fetal monitor. This monitor will show the baby’s fetal heart rate, alerting doctors if it ever slows or becomes abnormal. If there are signs that the heart rate is abnormal, doctors should immediately intervene in order to ensure the baby is receiving enough oxygen.

Detecting fetal distress

Doctors are trained to be able to detect distress through a baby’s heart tracing. There are several measures doctors can take in order to relieve the stress on the baby including trying to reposition the baby within the womb. However, if the heart rate does not normalize, the doctor should take appropriate measures to deliver the baby immediately.

Was medical malpractice to blame?

Some cases of cerebral palsy can be prevented with proper medical intervention.  Some of the leading academic studies suggest that approximately 10% of cerebral palsy cases are due to medical malpractice.

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