Fetal Distress

Failure to diagnose and treat fetal distress immediately during labor and delivery can result in brain damage, Cerebral Palsy and/or developmental delay. Fetal distress occurs when a baby is not receiving enough oxygen thru the umbilical cord. This can result in brain damage to the baby, or in some cases death. If the baby shows evidence of fetal distress, the attending doctors, midwives or nurses must take proper actions immediately to avoid permanent damage to the baby.

Some of the many causes of fetal distress are:

  • Failure by your health care provider to give appropriate treatment especially during the induction of labor
  • Failure by your health care provider to evaluate your pregnancy as high-risk
  • Misuse of delivery tools, such as forceps
  • Poorly administered epidurals
  • Lengthy labor
  • Compressed umbilical cord
  • Breech position
  • Feces mixed in the amniotic fluid
  • Reduction of blood supply during pregnancy or delivery

During most deliveries, internal and/or external fetal monitoring is performed to evaluate the baby’s heart rate. In the event of fetal distress, the baby should be delivered as quickly as possible, many times by cesarean section. If you feel that your health care provider was negligent during your prenatal care or labor and delivery, he or she may be responsible for the injury to you or your child.

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