Fetal distress may be described as indications before or during childbirth that the fetus is unwell. Most often, fetal distress is an indication that the baby is not getting sufficient oxygen. Fetal distress is typically identified through an abnormal heart rate pattern exhibited by the fetus and displayed through electronic fetal monitoring or regular ultrasound checks.
Your doctor and attending nurses have an obligation to properly monitor your baby during labor and delivery. They should watch for signs of fetal distress and should immediately address these. Failures to do so can result in serious birth injuries.
If your child suffered a birth injury because of a failure to identify or a delay in responding to fetal distress, our Hawaii birth injury lawyers are here to help. For over 30 years, Davis Levin Livingston has fought for children and families across Hawaii in complex birth injury claims. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients to help them face brighter and more stable futures, and we are standing by to assist you.
Contact our offices at (808) 400-7517 for a free review of your case.
Obstetrical Malpractice & Fetal Distress
There are three primary ways that obstetrical malpractice may be linked to fetal distress and birth injuries:
- Failure to identify fetal distress. This may occur if a doctor or nurse does not notice that fetal distress is occurring, by failing to monitor fetal heart-rate, or misreading electronic fetal monitoring reports.
- Delays in responding to fetal distress. This may occur if nursing staff are not regularly checking on a mother who is in labor, if they initially dismiss signs of fetal distress, or if they delay in informing the attending doctor. A doctor who learns of fetal distress and yet delays in recommending or performing a C-section or instrument-assisted delivery may also be to blame.
- Improper response to fetal distress. When fetal distress is noted, medical staff should take the appropriate steps to respond. Oxygen, IV fluids, and changing the mother’s position may help, but delivery may need to be facilitated with a vacuum extractor or forceps, or a C-section may be required. The wrong response to fetal distress can cause serious birth injuries.
Fetal distress errors can lead to brain damage, cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), asphyxia, and even a loss of life. Do not let the negligence of a doctor or nurse go unnoticed. Involve a Hawaii birth injury attorney who can hold the at-fault party accountable so you can secure the financial compensation you need for your child’s care.
Contact Davis Levin Livingston today at (808) 400-7517 to learn more.