Recognizing Fetal Distress

"Fetal distress" refers to various signs that a fetus is not thriving during maternity or labor. Because this term is not precise, modern obstetricians may not use this phrase to describe the exact condition or symptoms they detect. A general term also used is "non reassuring signs of fetal development."

Counseling Illinois And Wisconsin Families For Almost 40 Years: Our attorneys at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices want to help you find answers if your doctor missed the signs of fetal distress. Contact us today for help.

Were There Symptoms Of Fetal Distress In Your Case?

A number of different symptoms are referred to as fetal distress or non reassuring signs of fetal development. Some of these could be noticed by the mother, but many can be detected only with medical instruments and tests:

  • Decreased movement: The mother may feel decreased movement by the fetus. This should be immediately communicated to medical personnel.
  • Stained amniotic fluid: Meconium can contaminate the amniotic fluid as a result of fetal distress, leading to meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS).
  • Decreased or unstable heart rate: A fluctuating increase or decrease in heart rate can be detected with a fetal heart monitor.
  • Biochemical signs: Fetal metabolic acidosis and lactic acidosis can be detected by collecting a small sample of the baby's blood from a scalp prick through the mother's open cervix.

What Causes Complications Like These?

Because fetal distress broadly refers to the health of the unborn baby being in jeopardy, there are numerous causes, including:

  • Umbilical cord problems such as umbilical cord prolapse or nuchal cord
  • Birth hypoxia
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Placental abruption

Physicians and other health care providers must make timely and appropriate medical decisions based on any combination of symptoms. For example, a doctor may decide to respond to symptoms by ordering a rapid delivery via C-section. In other instances, a doctor may simply try to treat the symptoms while the labor continues. The rapid detection of symptoms and actions can affect the outcome of the birth.

Failure to detect symptoms of fetal distress or act upon these symptoms in a timely manner could result in birth injuries and even the infant's death. If you and your infant suffered because the medical personnel failed to detect symptoms or act upon them, you deserve compensation. The Wisconsin and Illinois fetal distress attorneys at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices can help you get monetary compensation and justice for your expenses and pain.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys

We understand the emotional turmoil you are experiencing. Sit down with our team at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices and review your legal options. We offer a free consultation, and because cases are handled on a contingency basis, you pay no fees unless we win.

Call us toll free at 888-396-3914 from anywhere in the United States, or contact us online. We can meet with you at our Chicago or Milwaukee law office. We can also schedule an appointment at another site in Illinois, or Wisconsin, or anywhere in the United States.