Failure to Recognize Fetal Distress

During the birth of a child, obstetrical caregivers and other medical professionals have the duty to closely monitor the baby's vital signs via the electronic heart monitor and other devices. This information is often critical, enabling doctors to make the right choices if the baby is experiencing fetal distress during the labor and delivery process.

Failure to monitor, failure to accurately interpret the information and failure to respond to fetal distress can endanger both child and mother. In the infant, results can be as severe as brain injury or even death.

The law firm of Block O'Toole & Murphy represents families who have medical negligence lawsuits involving birth injuries, including those caused by failure to recognize fetal distress. Our New York attorneys have obtained more than 300 verdicts and settlements exceeding $1 million dollars. In total, we have recovered well over $1 billion* on behalf of clients statewide.

What Is Fetal Distress?

A wide variety of health problems can cause symptoms that fall under the umbrella term of fetal distress. A few of these health problems include:

  • A significant increase or decrease in the baby's heart rate in the birth canal or womb
  • A noticeable decrease in the infant's movement through the birth canal
  • High levels of lactate in the baby's blood, which may indicate lactic acidosis
  • Evidence of meconium in the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus

What Causes Fetal Distress?

Fetal distress symptoms can have many different causes. In many cases, it is a sign of oxygen deprivation in the infant, which can easily lead to asphyxia and brain damage. It can be triggered by:

  • Shoulder dystocia caused by stress on the baby's head, neck and shoulders
  • Umbilical cord prolapse (the cord preceding the baby)
  • Nuchal cord (the umbilical cord becoming wrapped around the fetus's neck)
  • Placental abruption (detached placenta)
  • Uterine rupture (a tear in the uterus)
  • Breech presentation or abnormal fetus position during delivery

Call a Birth Injury Attorney Serving New York

If you believe your child suffered from failure to recognize fetal distress or any other negligence-related birth injury or condition, consult the skilled medical malpractice lawyers at the New York City law firm of Block O'Toole & Murphy. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation so that you can discuss your concerns with our legal team for FREE. Call us today at 212-736-5300, or contact us online.

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*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.