Holding Negligent Parties Accountable When Fetal Distress Results In Injuries

Fetal distress, also known as non-reassuring fetal status (NRFS), is a broad medical term used to describe a baby's health status while in utero, especially during labor and delivery. Generally, it means that the baby has an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen. Without immediate medical intervention, it is possible for the child to suffer brain damage or to die from asphyxia.

At The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., in Scottsdale, our attorney works hard to help hold negligent medical professionals accountable and to help you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.

Causes Of Fetal Distress

During pregnancy, the placenta supplies oxygen and nutrients from the mother's body to the baby. If something goes wrong and the placenta detaches from the uterus prior to delivery, the condition — known as placental abruption— can lead to maternal hemorrhaging and fetal distress due to oxygen deprivation.

Other pregnancy complications that may cause fetal distress are listed here:

Prolapsed umbilical cord — an umbilical cord that falls beneath a baby, or into the mother's vagina during childbirth, is called a prolapsed cord. As a baby makes his way down the birth canal, the pressure of his body against the umbilical cord may cause the cord to compress and to deprive him of blood and oxygen from the placenta.

Abnormal presentation — when a baby presents in the breach position, or in any other abnormal position, labor can be difficult or protracted. Caesarean delivery may be necessary to prevent fetal distress.

Shoulder dystocia — If an infant's shoulder becomes lodged behind his mother's pubic bone, his head is able to deliver but his body remains inside the birth canal. His oxygen levels may plummet due to compression of his chest and umbilical cord against the walls of the pelvis.

Uterine rupture — although uterine rupture is rare, the condition can occur in women who have scarring from a previous cesarean section. Violent contractions due to labor-inducing drugs, such as Pitocin, can also increase the risk of a uterine tear or rupture. This event can be fatal to the fetus unless an immediate caesarean section is performed.

Symptoms Of Fetal Distress

A baby may show some or all of the following signs if he is in distress:

  • Deterioration of the fetal heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Meconium (baby's first stool) is present within the amniotic fluid
  • A blood test taken from a baby's scalp shows the presence of acid in the baby's bloodstream

Contact Us For Help With Your Ongoing Financial And Medical Needs

If your medical team failed to recognize signs of fetal distress, and your child was profoundly injured during delivery, he may need ongoing medical assistance. If you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible doctor or hospital, call us today at 480-951-3949 or contact us online to talk to an Arizona lawyer. We provide legal representation to families throughout the greater Phoenix area.