Failure to Recognize Fetal Distress
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During labor and birth, delivery room doctors and nurses have a responsibility to properly monitor for signs of fetal distress. Failure to do so can have serious implications, as loss of oxygen, increased heart rate, and other signs of distress can all lead to serious complications and, in the most tragic of cases, the death of the child.
If your child suffered serious harm or died as a result of delivery room personnel’s failure to recognize and respond to fetal distress, we at Charles G. Monnett III & Associates offer our sincerest sympathies. We understand what an emotional and difficult time this is for you and your family, and we want to help. We know that no amount of financial compensation can ever undo what you have been through—but it can help you to get the critical medical care your child needs and provide a much-needed sense of justice for you and your family.
Signs of Fetal Distress
During labor and delivery, doctors and nurses should carefully monitor your child’s vital signs, including heart rate, movement, and more. This allows them to notice right away when something is wrong so that they can take the appropriate action to protect your safety and the well-being of your child.
Doctors and nurses should monitor for common signs of fetal distress, including but not limited to:
- Unusually high or low fetal heart rate
- A sudden cessation in fetal movement
- Significant decrease in fetal movement
- High levels of lactate in the baby’s blood
- Evidence that meconium is present in the amniotic fluid
- Vaginal bleeding/cramping
- Too low or too high maternal weight gain
Failure to respond promptly to signs of fetal distress can lead to serious, life-altering implications. It is absolutely critical that attending doctors and nurses quickly and accurately recognize and respond to signs of fetal distress to prevent unnecessary harm to the infant and/or mother.
Causes of Fetal Distress
There are many reasons an infant may display signs of distress, all of which could have very serious consequences if not immediately addressed.
Some of the most common reasons for signs of fetal distress include:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Breech presentation
- Umbilical cord wrapped around infant’s neck
- Umbilical cord prolapse
- Placental abruption
- Uterine rupture
Fetal distress can also be in response to outside factors, such as improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors to aide in delivery.
Failure to Recognize Fetal Distress Can Have Serious Consequences
Doctors and nurses have a responsibility to both recognize and respond to fetal distress. In most cases, the only way to address signs of distress is by birthing the baby, typically by cesarean section (C-section), as vaginal birth could lead to more complications. When medical providers fail to do this, it can lead to devastating injuries to the infant and/or the mother, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), brain damage, cerebral palsy, maternal hemorrhaging, and more.
Since 1983, Charles G. Monnett III & Associates has been providing dedicated, client-focused legal representation to individuals and families who have suffered the consequences of a medical provider’s negligence. Our Charlotte birth injury lawyers can help you if your child or the mother of your child was harmed as a result of a doctor’s failure to recognize fetal distress.
Charles was always available and informative on this process.- Susan Z.
Without their help, I would probably have lost everything that I owned.- Rick M.
Lauren Newton exceeded all of my expectations and she genuinely cares about her clients.- Jade B.
The experience I had was exactly what I wanted.- Jacob G.
I was very satisfied.- Raven B.
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