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Late Decelerations in Child birth May Support an Ohio Birth Injury Claim


An Ohio birth injury claim may in order if permanent harm or death to your child was caused by late decelerations not corrected during labor and delivery. A Cleveland birth injury attorney with experience in birth injury and medical malpractice claims can assess your situation and work toward getting you the help and resources you need.

Monitoring Fetal Heart Rate During Delivery

Monitoring your baby’s heart rate during delivery is a routine procedure in most medical facilities and other birthing centers. This commonplace practice reduces the chance that your baby will sustain a birth injury from fetal hypoxia, umbilical cord compression, tachycardia or acidosis that could eliminate the risk of filing an Ohio birth injury claim

Fetal Heart Rate and Decelerations

A normal fetal heart rate ranges from 120 beats per minute (bpm) to 160 bpm. Fluctuations are expected during the birthing process because of the physical stress and changes placed on your baby, as well as yourself.

There are 3 levels of decelerations that the baby may experience in utero:

  • Early Decelerations– A temporary decrease in heart pace that corresponds with the start of a contraction.
  • Late Decelerations– A temporary decrease in heart pace that occurs at or after the peak of a contraction.
  • Variable Decelerations– A temporary series of decelerations that differ in intensity, duration and relation to a contraction.

Patterns of Fetal Heart Rate Relating to Late Decelerations

Late decelerations in and of themselves aren’t unusual. The drop in heart rate often is seen and considered normal when it’s occasional and intermittent.

The drop and recovery of the heart rate forms a U-shaped pattern, with the bpm slowly dropping followed by a gradual increase back to the normal range. In late decelerations, 10 to 30 bpm may be seen.

Trained medical and birthing personnel should be aware of the normal characteristics of late deceleration patterns in your baby’s heart rate and act accordingly when the pattern falls outside the norm. If improperly treated, it could lead to an Ohio birth injury claim.

Problems Resulting from Late Decelerations

Late decelerations may indicate your baby is in distress. Mild cases may be an indication of central nervous system (CNS) hypoxia, while more severe cases may be signaling myocardial depression.

If late decelerations continue for a period of time, damage to the brain, heart, nerves and other parts of the body may occur, leaving your child with a host of physical and mental challenges for the rest of his or her life, for which you may pursue compensation through an Ohio birth injury claim.

Late Decelerations and Birth Injuries

The lack of intervention while your child suffered through late decelerations could be related to any number of birth injuries. A couple of the most common include:

  • Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) – This serious condition is characterized by acute or sub-acute brain injury caused by asphyxia (ie, hypoxia, acidosis).

Signs that your child may be suffering from HIE might be noticed as excessive sleepiness, irritability, trouble feeding, stiffness, floppiness, seizures and abnormal movements.

  • Cerebral Palsy (CP) – This group of disorders involves the brain and nervous system functions and often is caused by injuries or abnormalities to the baby’s brain while still in utero.

Signs that your child may be suffering from CP might be muscle weakness, muscle stiffness, poor motor control, seizures, shaking or spasticity.

If your child suffered from birth injuries and experienced late decelerations during labor and delivery, this may be evidence of improper medical care. Your family and child now may face physical, mental, emotional and financial challenges most of us are unable to handle alone. Filing an Ohio birth injury claim may be able to assist you with the support you need, and a Cleveland birth injury attorney can help lead you through the process.

Contacting an Cleveland Birth Injury Attorney

You place the health and safety of your new baby in the hands of your doctors believing you’ll have a healthy new addition to your family. When a medical professional’s negligence results in the serious injury, permanent disability or death of the infant or the birth mother, the impact on your family can be devastating.

The knowledgeable team of Cleveland birth injury attorneys at The Becker Law Firm serves residents of the Cleveland and Elyria, Ohio areas when they have been the victims of birth injury, catastrophic injury and wrongful death as the result of medical malpractice. To arrange for a no-cost consultation, home or hospital visit contact us today.

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