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New York Failure to Detect Fetal Distress

Fetal distress refers to a baby not getting enough oxygen during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Without sufficient oxygen in the baby’s bloodstream, the baby’s brain will be deprived of oxygen, leading to damage to cells in the brain. This can eventually lead to severe brain damage and even death. There are a variety of ways that a doctor can monitor fetal distress. For example, decrease of or lack of fetal movement as reported by the mother should alert the medical staff of a potential problem. Electronic monitoring tracks the baby’s heart rate. Any unusual change in the baby’s heart rate is a sign of fetal distress. Failure to detect fetal distress despite monitoring and indicators puts the baby a risk, as fetal distress is an emergency situation and must be treated immediately. If your baby suffered a serious injury because of a failure to detect fetal distress, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced New York birth injury lawyer who will investigate your case and ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Signs of fetal distress

There are many signs that would tend to indicate that the baby is in distress.

  • Decreased fetal movement. Decreased fetal movement is often reported by the mother. However, a doctor should ask the mother about fetal movement to help determine if the patterns of movement have changed.
  • Electronic monitoring. An electronic monitor can show changes in the baby’s heart rate. If the heart rate shows an unusual pattern, if it accelerates or decelerates, that is a strong indication of oxygen deprivation.
  • Fetal scalp testing. Fetal scalp testing determines if the baby is getting enough oxygen. It involves testing the acidity level of a small sample of blood.
Common reasons for fetal distress

During labor and delivery the baby is closely monitored because there are a number of problems that commonly arise during the process, including:

  • An umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck
  • Bad positioning of the baby prior to delivery
  • Placental eruption
  • Birth hypoxia
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Uterine rupture
  • Abnormal amniotic fluid levels
  • Maternal high blood pressure
  • Intrauterine growth retardation

If monitoring shows that the baby is in distress, the obstetrician can take steps to help the baby and avoid a birth injury. For example, the doctor may determine that an emergency C-Section is necessary for the health of the baby, the mother or both. On the other hand, if fetal distress is not detected, the baby could suffer a variety of serious problems including delayed development, cerebral palsy, or blindness.

Pursuing compensation

If you believe that a failure to detect fetal distress led to your baby sustaining a serious injury, discuss your concerns with an experienced birth injury attorney in New York. A baby in distress during labor and delivery is an emergency situation, and it is incumbent upon the medical staff to act quickly to treat the problem. Babies who suffer from oxygen deprivation can sustain brain damage. Depending on the severity of the brain damage, the baby may have developmental delays, intellectual deficits, cerebral palsy, or other challenges. Caring for a child with brain damage is costly. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can compel the negligent doctor or hospital to pay you compensation that will cover your child’s medical care and related expenses.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you suspect that your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional failed to detect fetal distress and as a result your baby suffered a serious birth injury, do not hesitate to immediately contact an experienced New York injury attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have the experience, knowledge, and resources to help. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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