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Electronic fetal monitoring can cause problems

New York parents who are expecting a child may be interested to learn that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that, based on a review of multiple studies, electronic fetal monitoring is not advantageous for mothers or infants. Electronic fetal monitoring, which monitors the heartbeat of the infant during delivery, is supposed to alert medical staff if the infant becomes distressed and needs to be delivered immediately.

While the CDC did not find that electronic fetal monitors reduced infant death or illness, it was found that EFM was associated with an increased rate of C-section deliveries, which could cause harm to the mother. However, EFM is used on approximately 85 percent of delivering women.

Part of the reason that EFM is still used is due to the fact that pregnancy is culturally thought of as a disruption of health. Medical intervention is considered to be culturally appropriate and is needed. Additionally, doctors often fear that if they do not use medical technology available to them they could face malpractice lawsuits. By having the printouts of heart patterns, doctors seem to believe that they will be protected from these lawsuits. However, it was actually found that many doctors disagree about what the printouts actually mean.

If a serious birth injury was caused by the use of EFM, the parents of the victim may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine how to proceed. Through an examination of hospital records and other evidence, including the opinions of medical experts, a determination could be made that both the hospital and doctor failed to exhibit the appropriate standard of care and should thus be responsible for the damages that have been incurred.

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