Pregnancy is usually a happy time in a person’s life, and most people enter the labor and delivery room excited to have a baby soon. However, if the mother or the unborn child experiences complications before or during labor, then this happiest of times can turn into a nightmare. One of the most serious complications occurs when a doctor or midwife fails to recognize the signs and symptoms of fetal distress.

If your baby suffered birth injuries or died due to a doctor’s failure to recognize distress, you should consult a knowledgeable birth injury attorney. An Albany fetal distress lawyer might be able to help you pursue justice.

What is Fetal Distress?

Medical practitioners use the term fetal distress to describe a situation where a fetus does not have enough oxygen during pregnancy, or the labor and delivery process. If the baby does not have sufficient oxygen, it could suffer a severe brain injury or even die.

Fetal distress can occur in several different ways. Most commonly, umbilical cord problems cause fetal distress, such as when the cord wraps around a baby’s neck. Uterine rupture, placental abruption, or an abnormal presentation during labor can also lead to fetal distress. Women who are pregnant with multiples, carry past their due date, have hypertension, diabetes, or a history of stillbirths are more at risk of having a pregnancy with fetal distress.

A compassionate fetal distress lawyer in Albany could assist a plaintiff in making the case that the unborn child suffered this condition and that the medical caregiver did not respond to it appropriately.

Fetal Distress During Pregnancy

Doctors and expectant parents cannot always easily identify fetal distress during pregnancy. Obstetricians tell people to watch for fetal movements. One problem is that as they grow in utero, babies often stop moving as much due to the lack of room. However, if a patient notices that their baby is moving significantly less than usual, they should notify their doctor, who might tell them to keep track of the number of kicks during a specific time period.

If the kick count is low, the doctor would probably ask the patient to come into the office for an examination with an ultrasound and non-stress test. If the results appear abnormal, an obstetrician would likely order the patient to undergo a c-section to get the baby out promptly.

An Albany attorney could review the medical charts and speak with fetal distress experts to see if the obstetrical team acted negligently in their care of the patient during pregnancy.

Fetal Distress During Labor and Delivery

It is easier for doctors to monitor and recognize fetal distress during labor. They can observe the baby’s heart rate to see how well they are tolerating contractions and can also check for meconium in the amniotic fluid. If the medical staff suspects that the baby is in distress, they can perform certain actions to help. For instance, they could give the mother extra oxygen, increase her fluid levels, or have her lie down on her left side. If those preventative measures do not work, they should perform an emergency c-section. Failure to do any of these things could open the doctor up to liability for any injuries that follow.

Work with an Albany Fetal Distress Attorney

A preventable birth injury can change the course of your child’s life. Right from the start, they might face obstacles that could affect their ability to learn, play, or eventually take care of themselves. If you suspect that a doctor failed to recognize the warning signs, you should work with an Albany fetal distress lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney could fight for your family and work to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.