Fetal Distress Lawyers in Austin

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When a baby’s oxygen is cut off, the medical term used is “fetal distress.” It has been defined as, “A baby who is compromised in labor or during delivery. This is usually determined by evaluation of the fetal heart rate in labor using some form of fetal monitoring.” When medical staff responds appropriately, fetal distress is a treatable condition. When medical staff fails to respond to fetal distress and damages result, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Triggers Fetal Distress

There are many factors that can cause fetal distress, such as umbilical cord compression, fetal infection, maternal illness, placental abruption, or if the mother is in a position that puts pressure on major blood vessels. Signs that a baby is in distress include- changing their pattern of movement, high levels of lactate in the baby’s blood, a decreasing heart rate, and by passing their first stool while still in the uterus (called meconium). Often a mother can be the one who experiences strange symptoms that can point to fetal distress- vaginal bleeding, cramps, high blood pressure, weight gain, gestational diabetes and premature rupture of membranes.

Fetal distress can be triggered by shoulder dystocia, abnormal fetus position, uterine rupture, placental abruption, nuchal cord (when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the fetus’ neck) and umbilical cord prolapse (when the cord precedes the baby).

How to Know if You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim

If a doctor or nurse did not give you proper care, fetal distress can be prolonged and result in more damage to the baby. If a timely C-section was not scheduled then medical staff may be held liable. Medical professionals are responsible to closely monitor a baby’s vital signs so that the right decisions can be made throughout the delivery process.

Doctors have the training to recognize and respond to fetal distress signs- when they fail to do so, devastating and sometimes fatal injuries can occur. When a doctor or nurse does not pay close attention to fetal monitoring systems, this damage can result. If you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, fetal monitoring strips can be analyzed to determine if medical staff responded quickly and appropriately. When doctors fail to monitor, fail to interpret properly or fail to respond appropriately to fetal monitoring data, injury or death can be the outcome- not only for the baby, but for the mother as well.

Before a complicated vaginal delivery, it is recommended that the patient be repositioned, oxygen be administered by mask, a vaginal examination be conducted to look for a prolapsed cord and the delivery room should be staffed with medical professionals who are prepared to resuscitate or care for the newborn.

For medical staff, a standard duty of care means that doctors and nurses provided the same level of care a mother and baby could expect from other obstetricians in the area. If you can show that your healthcare provider was not “reasonably prudent” you could have a medical malpractice case on your hands. You can file a medical malpractice claim if you can show that:

  • You and your child were not properly monitored
  • The fetal distress was not properly identified
  • Medical staff did not respond quickly enough
  • The right care was not provided
  • Damages resulted

While fetal distress is not preventable, it can be detected and treated- when it is not, you should fight for justice and compensation. To learn more about fetal distress, medical malpractice and filing a lawsuit, contact Zinda Law Group now to consult with a Personal Injury Attorney!