Fetal distress can occur when complications arise during childbirth. For example, the baby may not be receiving enough oxygen. It is not always possible to predict and plan for these complications, but physicians have a duty to act responsibly when they arise. If a medical professional fails to respond appropriately to a situation and follow the accepted standards of care, their actions may constitute medical malpractice.

If you believe your child’s fetal distress was not addressed properly and they suffered as a result, you may have a case. Reach out to a Hudson Valley fetal distress lawyer for expert advice about your legal options. If your birth injury attorney believes your child was the victim of malpractice, they could fight for compensation on your behalf.

Evidence of Fetal Distress

A Hudson Valley fetal distress lawyer could prove the cause of fetal distress and brain injury to the baby when it meets certain criteria. One is an abnormal cord pH, which is a blood test checking the baby’s umbilical cord blood. If the acid level in the blood is too high, it is a sign of metabolic acidosis.

Another factor is low Apgar scores of the baby at one, five, and ten minutes of life. Seizures following birth and multi-organ dysfunction are other criteria. If the child meets those criteria, it is highly likely that the lack of oxygen was a cause of the child’s neurological deficits.

Case Process

The process of a fetal distress case begins with hiring the right experts to determine the merit of the case. In most cases, that would be an obstetrician or a nurse midwife to determine what the standard of care was and whether the standard of care was violated. A birth injury case would also involve a pediatric neurologist who would give an opinion testimony that the deviation from the standard of care was the cause of the injuries and disabilities sustained by the infant.

The process of the lawsuit is to file a summons and complaint, and in New York State, a certificate of merit. The defense would respond with a legal document called an answer. There would be a number of discovery demands and discovery responses exchanged by the parties. There would be depositions of the plaintiff, the defendants, and in most cases, non-party witnesses. After that is completed, they would ask for a trial date.

Advantages of an Experienced Fetal Distress Lawyer

The main advantage of hiring a birth injury attorney is their specific experience handling fetal distress cases. Due to this experience, they understand what evidence to collect and how to prove malpractice. For example, many attorneys would look to see whether there were signs of fetal distress on the fetal heart tracings. In other words, was there a lack of variability? Were there fetal heart rate accelerations and decelerations?

In fact, it is important that the child meets at least two, three, or four of those criteria for establishing that the lack of oxygen was a cause of the brain damage. If the child meets the criteria under the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which are the cord pH values, the post-procedures, as well as multi-organ dysfunction, that is evidence. If a child does not meet those criteria, it is evidence that the child’s injury was not caused by a lack of oxygen at birth.

Reach Out to a Hudson Valley Birth Injury Attorney Today

If you believe your child’s injuries were caused by medical malpractice, you deserve seasoned legal representation. Reach out to a Hudson Valley fetal distress lawyer for assistance in your case. They could analyze the evidence to determine the cause of the injury, and if they find proof of malpractice, they could take your case to court. Call today to schedule a consultation.