There is nothing more tragic than the sudden and wrongful death of a child. While stillbirths, defined as the intrauterine death of a baby occurring at or after 20 weeks' gestation, are relatively rare in the United States, they can and do happen. Unfortunately, some instances of fetal death are the result of entirely preventable medical errors and acts of negligence.
If you lost your unborn child due to intrauterine fetal demise or stillbirth, we at Brown & Barron extend our deepest condolences. We know that this is an incredibly difficult time for your family, and we want to help. If you believe that a medical provider’s error or negligence led to the loss of your baby, reach out to our firm today to learn more about your various legal rights and options. If you have a valid medical malpractice case, you are entitled to financial compensation; our Baltimore fetal death attorneys can help you seek the justice you deserve.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines fetal death as “the spontaneous intrauterine death of a fetus at any time during pregnancy.” When this occurs before the fetus has reached 20 weeks gestational age (GA), it is often referred to as “miscarriage.” At or after 20 weeks GA, it may be called “stillbirth” or “intrauterine fetal demise.”
Fetal death may occur due to any number of reasons. In miscarriages occurring before 20 weeks GA, the reason is often unknown. When fetal death occurs at or after 20 weeks GA, the reason may or may not be known. In the U.S., most pregnancy losses and fetal deaths are the result of genetic abnormalities.
Various risk factors increase the likelihood of both miscarriage and stillbirth, including:
- Maternal age
- Maternal obesity
- Maternal diabetes
- Tobacco use
- Drug use
- Alcohol use
- Maternal infection
- Birth defects
- Prior pregnancy loss
- Certain maternal health conditions, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and epilepsy
It is important to note that risk factors do not cause pregnancy loss or fetal death. Rather, they indicate an increased risk of such events due to other factors.
Is Fetal Death Caused by Medical Malpractice?
While medical malpractice is rarely the direct cause of pregnancy loss, medical errors and negligence may indirectly lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. Some fetal deaths that occur during delivery can be attributed to medical malpractice, as well.
The most common causes of stillbirth in the United States include:
- Pregnancy complications
- Labor and delivery complications
- Problems with the placenta
- Birth defects
- Fetal or placental infections
- Umbilical cord problems
Medical providers owe patients—including pregnant mothers and unborn children—certain duties of care. They must take all reasonable measures to prevent injury and ensure the safety of mothers and babies during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Fetal death may be the result of medical malpractice if it can be attributed to any of the following:
- Improper or substandard prenatal care
- Failure to diagnose or treat maternal health conditions, such as preeclampsia
- Failure to recognize and respond to signs of fetal distress before or during birth
- Failure to diagnose and treat maternal, fetal, or placental infections
- Causing injury to the placenta or uterine lining
- Delaying an emergency cesarean section (C-section)
- Failure to diagnose and treat intrauterine growth restriction
- Overlooking umbilical cord problems, such as an umbilical cord wrapped around an unborn child’s neck, leading to birth asphyxia
- Mismanagement of a high-risk pregnancy
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals may be directly responsible for fetal deaths resulting from medical errors and negligence. Additionally, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities could be liable for stillbirths caused by medical malpractice.
Get in touch with us today at (410) 698-1717 to learn how our Baltimore fetal death lawyers can help you and your family during this incredibly difficult time. Your initial consultation is completely free, and there are no legal fees unless/until we recover compensation for you.
What to Do If You Believe You Have a Case
If you believe you may have a medical malpractice case involving the wrongful death of an unborn child, the best thing you can do is to reach out to an experienced birth injury attorney. These are highly complex cases, and you will likely need an attorney to help you navigate the legal process.
At Brown & Barron, we have represented countless mothers, fathers, and families in tragic cases involving fetal death due to medical error and neglect. Our Baltimore fetal death attorneys have successfully assisted clients in securing fair compensation for the immense physical, emotional, and financial losses they endured due to a trusted medical provider’s carelessness or reckless mistake. We understand the devastation you are facing, as well as the many challenges that still lay ahead. Most importantly, we know how to help, and we are prepared to fight tirelessly for the justice you deserve.
At Brown & Barron, we help our clients with every legal detail. Our firm can assist you in gathering important evidence for your case, such as medical records, expert testimony, and more. We can put together a powerful, evidence-based case on your behalf and handle all communication with the liable party and its insurance company so that you do not have to.
Right now, your focus should be on getting the medical care you need, as well as on healing emotionally from the experience you have endured. Allow our dedicated attorneys to handle the various aspects of your medical malpractice case. We are here to provide the information you need to feel confident moving forward in the legal process. Our team offers empathetic and personalized counsel, along with attentive guidance and one-on-one support. We want to make sure that you and your family have the representation you need so that your voice is heard.
Hear From Our Clients
"They definitely get the job done in will go above in beyond for the clients I appreciate all the hard work that they have done over the years."Ashley L.
"Brown and Barron are very sufficient, and EFFECTIVE! They are direct, and they will not put false hope into anything!"Sabrina F.
"This law office is amazing ! Ester was our lawyer and helped us through every step of the way."Madison S.
Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (410) 698-1717.