Delays in Diagnosing Fetal Distress May Result in Lifelong Disabilities
Every year, nearly 4 million babies are born in the United States. Though many births are uneventful, others involve frightening circumstances. For example, many babies exhibit signs of distress that must be quickly addressed. If signs of fetal distress are not properly identified or managed, the baby could suffer life-threatening complications. At The Eisen Law Firm, our Ohio birth injury attorneys believe that innocent babies and their families deserve the best legal representation possible. We work hard on your behalf to obtain the maximum compensation allowable by law for your child’s injuries.
What are The Signs of Fetal Distress?
Signs of fetal distress may occur during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Fetal distress signals a lack of oxygen, which is also called birth asphyxia. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals should carefully monitor the mother and baby for any signs of distress and should act quickly upon their presentation. The signs associated with fetal distress include:
- Too much or too little amniotic fluid
- Changes in fetal heart rate
- Decreased fetal movement
- Cramping or vaginal bleeding in the mother
- Abnormal non-stress test results
- Abnormal biophysical profile results
- High blood pressure in the mother
Other signs of distress may also be present.
What are The Risk Factors for Fetal Distress?
Some pregnancies, labors, and deliveries are more likely than others to produce signs of fetal distress.The risk factors include:
- The mother is gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy
- The baby is in an abnormal position, such as breech (feet-first) or transverse (sideways) in the birth canal
- Improper use of tools used to assist in birth, such as forceps or a vacuum
- Placental abruption,when the placenta separates from the lining of the uterus
- The mother has been diagnosed with preeclampsia
- Excessively long labor
- Issues with the umbilical cord
- Uterine rupture,when part of the uterus tears during birth
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals must carefully monitor the mother and her baby for signs of fetal distress, especially in high-risk pregnancies. Thorough preparation and monitoring in high-risk pregnancies is key to a safe and healthy birth.
What should be done if there are signs of fetal distress?
In some situations, fetal distress may be quickly resolved by simply providing additional oxygen to the mother or by changing the mother’s position. Administering fluids and certain medications may also help the baby. However, in extreme circumstances, the baby must be delivered immediately via C-section.
An experienced birth injury attorney can review medical records to determine if a medical professional acted negligently when a baby exhibited signs of fetal distress.
If your baby has suffered a birth injury, contact us today for a free consultation
At The Eisen Law Firm, for more than 30 years, our Ohio birth injury attorneys have focused exclusively on medical malpractice claims, including those involving birth injuries. With our expertise, you and your family can rest assured the medical professionals who harmed your baby are held accountable. To schedule your free consultation with our firm, call 216-687-0900 or contact us online.