The Eisen Law Firm - Attorneys Focusing Exclusively On Medical Malpractice
3601 Green Rd, Suite 308
Cleveland OH 44122
Call For A Free Consultation

Cleveland Fetal Distress Attorneys Offer Diligent Representation When Complication Occur During Childbirth

The birth of a child should be a time of celebration, not distress

The process of child labor is an involved, often stressful, event which should result in the joyful delivery of a healthy baby. Unfortunately, significant complications can occur during the labor and birthing process. Your medical care providers must be aware of these complications. The Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm are aggressive, compassionate litigators who will get to the bottom of your medical malpractice case involving fetal distress.


Fetal distress can cause catastrophic injury or death at a time when your medical providers should be hyper-vigilant regarding potential medical complications. We understand fetal distress cases and the potential merits of a claim in this area of the law. Complications during birth happen, and they must be addressed quickly in order to ensure the health of the mother and the unborn child.  If you need answers about why those labor or delivery complications were not addressed promptly and adequately, don’t go it alone. With over 25 years of experience, the attorneys at Eisen Law Firm are here to advocate for you and your child.

What is fetal distress?

Fetal distress is a medical term referring to signs before and during childbirth that an unborn child is not well. The term tends to be associated with labor complications involving a lack of oxygen to the unborn child. A common cause of fetal distress is the unborn child’s inhalation of meconium (fecal matter) in the womb – which makes it very difficult for the unborn child to get adequate oxygen.  Other causes include too little amniotic fluid (called “oligohydramnios”), injury to the placenta (“placental abruption”), or an umbilical cord wrapped around the fetus’ neck. Fetal distress is often detected through Electronic Fetal Heart Monitoring (EFM). Medical care providers can monitor an unborn child’s heart rate through use of this technology – which is now a common tool in most deliveries in the United States.  If a significant abnormality in a baby’s heartbeat is detected, this can generally be addressed by giving the mother oxygen, increasing intravenous fluids to the mother, or turning the mother on her left side. If fetal distress continues, then a physician may make the decision to deliver the baby as quickly as possible through a variety of methods, including cesarian section (c-section).

Your medical care providers must carefully monitor you and your unborn child during the labor process

EFM is a useful tool in assessing you and your baby’s condition during labor, but it is only as effective as the individuals who are using it. Unfortunately, these fetal monitor strips are frequently misinterpreted. When this happens, caregivers miss signs that a baby is struggling to survive on inadequate oxygen.


Some physicians have begun backing away from the use of continuous fetal heart rate monitoring and choosing instead to apply “interval” monitoring.  The argument in favor of interval EFM monitoring as opposed to continuous EFM monitoring is that caregivers using interval EFM will not just focus on the monitor strips and ignore the patient’s clinical condition. Instead, when the monitor is off, caregivers will actually spend time in face-to-face interactions with laboring mothers and will get useful information from those interactions. Those in favor of interval monitoring argue that this may increase the odds of catching other issues that may signal a problem with labor.


At The Eisen Law Firm, we are skeptical of interval monitoring. First, there is no reason why caregivers cannot both keep an eye of the monitor strips and pay attention to the patient. Second, it is often the case that the only way to prove medical negligence has caused a profound birth injury is through a careful analysis of the strips. It is sometimes impossible to prove medical negligence has taken place during labor and delivery without these strips. It is simply too convenient and self-serving for physicians to argue that patients are better off without such monitoring. Until we see objective data published by authorities with nothing to gain, we will remain skeptical of interval monitoring, except in unusual circumstances.


Make sure you and your family understand your risks and demand attentive medical treatment

The labor process involves a unique combination of both physical and emotional feeling – especially if the experience is new to both you and your family.  Still, a woman knows her body better than anyone else and knows when something is wrong. Highly-trained medical professionals are supposed to listen to your concerns, while ensuring the well-being of both you and your unborn child. You do not have to accept being ignored for critical periods of your labor process.


The average period of labor ranges from 6-12 hours, and fetal distress can develop in an instant. If your unborn child suffers from fetal distress and you or your child are injured as a result, consider contacting the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm. They work tirelessly and attentively to help you understand your rights when fetal distress is not promptly and adequately addressed.

Knowledgeable, passionate fetal distress attorneys counseling families in Cleveland and throughout Ohio

The injury or death of a child during labor is both tragic and avoidable. The attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm serve the families of injured children in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Lorain, Akron, and all of Ohio. We offer free initial consultations, so contact us today by phone at 216-687-0900 or online.