Arizona expectant parents may want to forgo a prevalent procedure known as continuous electronic fetal monitoring. Continuous EFM involves observing babies in the womb using externally placed ultrasound transducers and internal devices, such as heart rate monitors, but observers note that since their introduction in the 1960s and subsequent widespread adoption across the nation, such actions have done little to improve birthing outcomes.
According to a recent report, EFM lacks the statistical backing to prove its worth. Multiple studies have noted its potential to increase the occurrence of birthing problems, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted its association with heightened incidences of C-sections as early as 1995. Notably, there are other alternatives to EFM that let professionals monitor babies and mothers without making them uncomfortable or putting them at risk.
Another strike against constant EFM is that improperly executed monitoring actions may lead to complications. In 2003, one mother suffered injuries after a Idaho doctor decided to monitor the baby’s heart rate internally. When the monitoring device became detached during the birth, the doctor initiated a vacuum extraction without the mother’s approval, causing damage to the woman’s labia that necessitated stitches. Multiple professional organizations have spoken out against continuous EFM for decades.
In addition to having the potential to cause fatalities, improperly administered medical procedures can result in serious birth injuries. Parents may be unaware of the risks associated with specific procedures, and doctors who misinterpret faulty data could make the birthing process more dangerous than it needs to be. Those whose pregnancies didn’t go as planned might find it beneficial to learn about their legal options so that they can pursue compensation and closure following errors.