Most birth injuries are preventable. Proper monitoring, diagnosis, and timely treatment can prevent many injuries. However, undiagnosed conditions such as fetal heart rate abnormality or fetal arrhythmia can cause a number of complications and lead to life-threatening birth injuries. In this post, Chicago birth injury lawyer discusses the complications associated with fetal heart rate abnormality.
What is fetal arrhythmia?
Any type of abnormal heart rate detected in an unborn baby is referred to as fetal arrhythmia. There are two main types of fetal arrhythmia that occur –
- Tachycardia – Tachycardia refers to an abnormal increase in heart rate. Tachycardia can occur due to a number of reasons, some as benign as excessive caffeine consumption by the mother while pregnant. At times, tachycardia is a naturally, occurring phenomena caused during the development of the fetus.
- Bradycardia – Bradycardia is the opposite of tachycardia, where the heart rate of the fetus slows down. While, like tachycardia, bradycardia that occurs well before the delivery date can also be a naturally occurring phenomenon caused during fetal development, bradycardia that occurs during or very close to the time of birth can be a sign that requires immediate attention and possibly the need for a quick delivery.
Both conditions are known as fetal arrhythmia and are otherwise known to be normally occurring conditions that are not life-threatening. However, if either of the conditions persists for long periods of time, they can prove to be dangerous to the fetus.
Diagnosis of fetal arrhythmia
Due to the many complications that can arise due to prolonged fetal arrhythmia, it’s essential that doctors are able to diagnose fetal arrhythmia and start treatment for the condition. Without immediate attention, it could prove to be hazardous to both the mother and the child. Inability to detect fetal arrhythmia in time can lead to the following conditions –
- Lifelong heart conditions – When fetal arrhythmia goes undetected and untreated, it could lead to lifelong heart conditions, that may require lifelong medical care and treatment
- Birth injuries –Though rare, prolonged and undetected fetal arrhythmia can lead to several birth injuries. The probability of having serious birth injuries increases if the arrhythmia worsens during the delivery process.
- Loss of life – At times, undetected or untreated fetal arrhythmia can also lead to the death of the fetus resulting in stillbirth.
Claiming compensation for untreated fetal arrythmia
It is the duty of the doctor to detect and treat fetal arrhythmia. Negligence on part of the doctor, or malpractice should be reported and a claim for compensation can be initiated against the doctor.
No amount of compensation can bring back a healthy child. Similarly, the pain and suffering experienced by parents who have lost a baby cannot be quantified in terms of financial compensation. However, parents with babies suffering from medical conditions caused due to fetal arrhythmia have to bear huge expenses and overheads like costs of ongoing treatment, medication, and future care. In order to make a successful claim, it’s important for parents to hire services of a highly skilled Chicago birth injury lawyer.