The Risks & Benefits of Amnioinfusion
Having an appropriate amount of amniotic fluid is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. It helps support fetal growth, cushions the baby, and prevents the umbilical cord from becoming compressed. In some cases, typically in the third trimester or when a baby is overdue, an expectant mother might develop a condition known as oligohydramnios, which refers to a low volume of amniotic fluid. If this occurs, there are various ways it can be treated, including amnioinfusion.
During amnioinfusion, a room-temperature saline solution is delivered to the amniotic sac through an intrauterine pressure catheter. The process takes approximately 10-30 minutes, depending on the patient’s exact situation. Generally speaking, amnioinfusion tends to be most successful when there is a larger amount of amniotic fluid to replace.
For patients with oligohydramnios, amnioinfusion may be beneficial. If amniotic fluid levels are low, it can cause a slow or irregular fetal heartbeat and amnioinfusion can help regulate the baby’s heart rate. It can also help prevent umbilical cord compression, preterm rupture of membranes, and premature labor. Amnioinfusion can also help reduce the chances of needing a cesarean or the use of birth-assisting tools like forceps and vacuum assistance during delivery.
But as is the case for other types of medical procedures, amnioinfusion isn’t always advisable. While it’s often used to address fetal heart rate issues, it shouldn’t be used if a baby is actively in distress because the process could cause dangerous delays. Amnioinfusion should also be avoided if the baby is in a breech position, if a mother has placental abruption or or placenta previa, or if there is an active uterine infection or genital herpes infection.
Amnioinfusion also comes along with a risk for potentially creating too much amniotic fluid, prolonged labor, uterine perforation, and infections of the placenta or amniotic fluid.
Contact a Michigan Birth Trauma Lawyer
For amnioinfusion to be safe and effective, it’s important that doctors use it appropriately and while informing patients of the risks and benefits involved. If amnioinfusion was used during. your delivery in a way that caused harm to you or your child, don’t hesitate to contact a birth trauma lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help answer questions you have and work with you to understand your legal options. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to work with a lawyer experienced in helping victims of birth trauma in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to find out how we can help.