What Does It Mean When A Baby Is In Distress?

When a baby is in distress, it means the baby is not getting enough oxygen before or during delivery. Thus, when you are pregnant or in labor, you expect your healthcare provider to monitor both you and your baby to ensure all is going smoothly. However, when your baby is in distress, they could be at increased risk for suffering severe injury, illness, or even death.

If your healthcare provider’s negligence caused your baby to suffer temporary or permanent injury, your family might be entitled to financial compensation.

What Is Fetal Distress?

Fetal distress refers to an unborn child with low oxygen levels. It most commonly occurs during delivery, but it has the potential to occur prior to labor. Sadly, when a healthcare provider does not correctly address fetal distress, the unborn child can suffer severe injury, illness, or death.

Signs of Fetal Distress

Some of the signs your healthcare provider should watch for during pregnancy, labor, and delivery include:

  • Irregular fetal heart rate
  • Abnormal maternal cramping
  • A decrease in the unborn baby’s movement
  • Excessive maternal weight gain during pregnancy
  • Placenta previa
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
  • Irregular amniotic fluid levels

If your healthcare provider failed to diagnose or treat your unborn child when they exhibited signs of fetal distress, your family might qualify for financial compensation. A birth injury lawyer can explain your legal options for getting justice for your child and family.

Causes of Fetal Distress

Your healthcare provider should not only recognize the signs of fetal distress and be prepared to treat it accordingly. They should also understand what causes fetal distress and watch for them occurring during delivery. Some typical reasons include:

  • Improper use of medical tools such as vacuum extractors or forceps
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Mispositioning
  • Tangles or knots in the umbilical cord
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine rupture

Medical Conditions Associated With Fetal Distress

Unborn babies face life-altering consequences when they suffer fetal distress. For example, they might have to cope with lifelong medical conditions and health issues related to fetal distress. Some common conditions associated with fetal distress during delivery include:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Mental health issues
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Visual or hearing impairments
  • Motor skill impairments
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Muscle spasms
  • Failure to meet milestones

These are just a few conditions that healthcare providers must monitor during pregnancy to avoid your child experiencing fetal distress.

However, if your child now suffers a medical condition brought on by the fetal distress they experienced, you could bring the liable party to justice.

How to Get Justice for Your Baby

You can hold any of these medical providers responsible for failing to uphold their medical duty of care during your pregnancy:

  • Obstetricians
  • Gynecologists
  • Nurses
  • Pediatricians
  • Midwives
  • Anesthesiologists

Your attorney will need to prove that they breached the medical standard of care to recover the compensation your family deserves. There are several ways to claim medical malpractice following a birth injury caused by fetal distress.

Insurance Claim

You could file a claim with the negligent healthcare provider’s malpractice insurance provider. The insurance company might have to provide your family with certain types and amounts of damages. However, the insurance company will only be required to pay out up to the limits of the policyholder’s claim. If your damages exceed these limits, the insurance company does not cover the excess.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you have substantial losses, you might need to take your case to court to recover your damages. In addition, because insurance policies typically only cover medical expenses and potential loss of income, you might have to sue to recover for the intangible losses you’ve sustained like pain and suffering.

You deserve to be repaid for every way your child’s birth injury affects your life, your family’s lives, and your baby’s life, both now and in the future. Bringing your case to court may be your best option to recover maximum compensation for your damages.

Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer for Help Today

Do you have reason to believe your healthcare provider’s mistake or misconduct caused your baby’s distress, birth injury, and permanent damage? Are you unsure where to turn for help? If so, you can explore your legal options further by contacting a birth injury lawyer at Brown & Barron to discuss the details of your case.

Our firm offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to families dealing with traumatic birth injuries across Baltimore and the surrounding area. Take advantage of this opportunity when you complete our quick contact form or call our office to get started on your case.

Newborn baby
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