Intrauterine fetal demise (death) of an infant is called stillbirth. Proper evaluation of the fetus during pregnancy can greatly minimize the risk of fetal death because many conditions are diagnosable and preventable. Modern medicine, by the exercise of reasonable and standard care, has tools and tests available to detect: fetal abnormalities, chromosomal abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, infection, autoimmune disorders, malformed fetus, damage to umbilical cord, anemia, hemorrhage, and tearing of the placenta. Prenatal evaluation through ultrasound, fetal monitoring and tolerance of labor assessments are all things a doctor who is providing solid medical care should be doing. Failure to timely deliver an infant when there are signs of trouble, can amount to medical negligence whether the infant is stillborn, or otherwise injured. Not every condition will respond to medical treatment, but many can be diagnosed in anticipation of the delivery of the infant. Proper diagnosis and timely intervention can result in delivery of a live infant and that live infant, and a greatly improved chance of a return to good health.
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