Fetal Distress Cases
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on March 12, 2013
The birth of a healthy baby depends on many factors, including careful monitoring of the baby’s oxygen supply in utero. It is imperative that obstetricians, labor and delivery nurses, and other members of the birthing team are able to recognize signs of fetal distress, a condition marked by insufficient oxygen supply to the fetus, either before or during labor. Of course, identifying fetal distress is just part of the equation; once it has been diagnosed, the birthing team must take timely and appropriate actions to ensure the baby’s health. In most cases, though there are exceptions, the proper response is an emergency C-section.
If your baby’s health was compromised, or if you tragically lost your child, due to the failure of your obstetrician and other members of your birthing team to respond appropriately to fetal distress, the St. George medical malpractice attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC can help. Our lawyers have the experience, resources, and commitment to take aggressive action against negligent healthcare professionals who fail to provide care of an acceptable standard and victimize their innocent patients as a result. Of course, there is no victim more innocent or more deserving of the highest standard of care than an unborn child. Our medical malpractice attorneys can give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.
When clients entrust their litigation to our attorneys serving St. George, medical negligence settlements are often possible. However, when it is in the best interests of our clients, we will always try a case to verdict.
To schedule an evaluation of your potential fetal distress claim with one of our compassionate, highly skilled medical malpractice attorneys serving St. George, please contact the law firm of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC today.
What Are the Causes and Signs of Fetal Distress
Fetal distress can occur as the result of a number of causes, including infection of the fetus, illness of the mother, compression of the umbilical cord, and a condition called placental abruption, in which premature detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall impedes the supply of oxygen and nutrition to the fetus.
When the fetus is not receiving the oxygen it needs, it will respond by decreasing its heart rate, moving in irregular patterns, and possibly no longer moving at all. Women who notice a change in the behavior of the baby in utero (for example, it kicks with less frequency than normal over a two-hour period) should contact their doctors immediately. The doctors should respond by having these women come in and be attached to a fetal monitor. If a doctor fails to order this measure, and the baby is harmed as a result, he or she could be found guilty of medical malpractice.
How to Respond to Fetal Distress
Assuming that the mother is not close to a natural birth, there are two basic ways that the obstetrician can respond, depending on the circumstances. He or she can either administer oxygen and fluids to the mother via an IV, or (more likely) order an immediate delivery. This delivery can be realized through a forceps or vacuum delivery or an emergency C-section.
The decision as to how to proceed after diagnosing fetal distress is as important as the actual diagnosis. Failure to respond with the proper treatment in a timely fashion can compromise the baby’s health and even threaten his or her life.
For further information about fetal distress litigation, please contact our St. George medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys today.
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