The doctors and nurses involved in the delivery of a baby have many responsibilities. The most important of those responsibilities is monitoring the health of the fetus and the mother during labor and throughout the delivery process. Any sign of distress in either patient must be addressed immediately, and the competency of the medical team in the delivery room is critical in situations where distress is present. Fetal distress, when not handled properly, can result in oxygen loss, brain damage and developmental delays.
If harmed, Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help you recover the compensation you deserve for the damages you and your child have suffered. Call us at 800-550-0000 to get started.
Fetal Monitoring Strips
A valuable tool in most delivery rooms is the fetal monitoring strip. This strip offers vital information about the state of the fetus during labor and delivery. Data from the fetal monitoring strip can advise nurses and doctors when an emergency cesarean section delivery is necessary or other intervention is required for a healthy birth.
Symptoms of Fetal Distress
Some common warning signs that nurses and doctors should observe while monitoring the birth process are below.
- Change or decrease in the baby’s heart rate
- Change in the movements of the baby
- Meconium in the amniotic fluid (passage of baby’s first stool)
The medical team should take any of these symptoms seriously, and if the symptoms persist, decisions must be made to protect the health of the mother and the fetus.
Actions to Protect the Fetus
When symptoms signal that the fetus is in distress, the medical team has a small window of opportunity to make critical decisions that may protect the baby from harm or reduce any complications. There are some common options that may improve the status of the fetus or help ensure a healthy birth. The following options typically are considered when trying to manage a fetal distress situation.
- Move the mother: In some cases, turning the mother onto her left side can reduce pressure on the fetus in the womb and improve heart rate or other vital signs.
- Check the umbilical cord: The doctor should examine the fetus to ensure that the umbilical cord is not wrapped around the baby’s neck or is otherwise compromised.
- Administer oxygen: Giving the mother oxygen may help improve the fetus’s health during labor.
- Administer fluids: Intravenous fluids maybe required to improve the health of the mother and/or fetus prior to delivery.
- Use forceps or vacuum extractor: If fetal distress does not improve with other methods, an early delivery may be necessary. In some cases, a doctor can remove the baby from the womb using tools such as forceps or vacuum extractor.
- Perform cesarean section (C-Section): Delivery is sometimes necessary via surgical means. An emergency c-section is sometimes the only way to save a baby in distress.
Results of Mismanaged Fetal Distress
In cases where the medical team acted negligently or failed to monitor the fetus properly, birth injuries can occur. Some possible complications of fetal distress that might warrant speaking with fetal distress attorneys in New York are below.
- Brain damage
- Developmental delays
- Cerebral Palsy
Other birth complications that cause injuries might also warrant seeking legal assistance. If you’re unsure of whether negligence led to birth injuries, seek legal counsel to help you investigate.
Protecting your Family in the Event of Fetal Distress Injuries
If your baby was born with disabilities or injuries associated with fetal distress, you may need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation for damages. There may be expenses for medical care, educational requirements or other needs that your child will have. Seeking fair compensation may be the best way to provide for your baby.
Fetal distress lawyers in New York from Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help you take legal action. Call us today at (800) 550-0000 for a free case review by one of our qualified attorneys.