As soon as you learned the news about your pregnancy, you probably made some changes in your life. You might have started eating differently, getting more sleep, and leading a healthier lifestyle. You probably also looked for a respected obstetrician or midwife and a well-established hospital or birth center.

Unfortunately, sometimes problems occur during the pregnancy or delivery, such as when a medical team fails to recognize the signs of fetal distress. If you believe your baby suffered due to severe birth injury, you might be eligible to receive financial compensation. A Newburgh fetal distress lawyer could help you hold the responsible parties accountable.

What is Fetal Distress?

Fetal distress happens when a fetus’ heartbeat decelerates or becomes flat. When fetal distress occurs, the fetus does not get enough oxygen to their brain. If a doctor recognizes the signs of fetal distress, they need to act quickly, or else it can result in the death of a baby or a baby born with birth injuries due to oxygen deprivation.

Some mothers have a higher risk of experiencing fetal distress, such as those pregnant with twins or other multiples, women with hypertension, or with diabetes. Doctors should also closely watch over mothers with a prior pregnancy history of stillbirth or intrauterine growth retardation, and mothers who are past their due dates.

Fetal distress often occurs for the following reasons:

  • Breathing difficulties in the fetus
  • Nuchal cord, when the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck
  • Umbilical cord prolapse, which happens when the cord drops through the birth canal before the baby
  • Placental abruption
  • Rupture of the mother’s uterus
  • Abnormal position of the fetus, such as a breech birth
  • Shoulder dystocia, or other cause which results in the baby being stuck in the birth canal for too long

A compassionate Newburgh lawyer could meet with a family to see if they might have grounds for filing a fetal distress claim against the healthcare practitioners who played a role in the delivery of the baby.

Monitoring for Fetal Distress in Newburgh

Fetal distress can occur both during pregnancy and during the labor and delivery phase.

During Pregnancy

It is challenging for doctors to detect fetal distress during pregnancy because they do not continuously monitor a mother throughout it. Doctors should be more vigilant if the mother has some of the high-risk characteristics of fetal distress. In addition, if the mother notices any significant decline in fetal movements, the doctor should monitor the kick count. The medical team should also order ultrasounds and non-stress tests, as appropriate for the situation. If necessary, the doctor should quickly deliver the baby.

During Labor

It is easier for doctors, midwives, and nurses to monitor the fetal heart rate during labor and delivery. They can use ultrasound, stethoscopes, or attach a fetal monitor to the expectant mother’s belly, which can let a doctor know how well a baby is tolerating the labor process. When a fetus exhibits signs of distress, the doctors must respond appropriately. They can give a mother more intravenous fluid or oxygen or have her lie on her left side. If the condition worsens or does not improve quickly, an emergency C-section becomes necessary.

A skilled Newburgh attorney could review the mother’s and baby’s medical records to see if proper precautions were taken to avoid fetal distress.

Speak to a Newburgh Fetal Distress Attorney About Your Case

If you suspect your doctor failed to detect fetal distress, your baby could suffer long-term health consequences. Being deprived of oxygen for too long could lead to brain injuries and even death.

A Newburgh fetal distress lawyer understands how painful this situation must be for new parents and could fight for you. Place a call as soon as possible to set up a consultation.