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Fetal Distress and its Dangers

Written by Berkowitz

infant's feetFetal distress is easily recognized during labor, especially in modern facilities using the latest technology. Because a pregnant woman is closely monitored, the signs or indicators of an unborn baby in distress are quickly identified – and competent physicians would react immediately. This could include performing an emergency caesarean section or using instrumental delivery to ensure a safe delivery of the baby. Fetal distress can be identified in numerous ways, including:

  1. Heart Rate – When a pregnant woman is in labor, the fetal heart rate and the mother’s heart rate are monitored. As the baby’s heart rate becomes irregular (whether when identified by a Pinard stethoscope or recorded on a CTG monitoring machine), it is an indication that the fetus is in distress. Slowed heart rates are normal during contractions; however, if they continue to decline, the baby is not receiving adequate oxygen.
  2. Mother’s Blood Pressure – Blood pressure is closely monitored in pregnant woman. If blood pressure levels begin to rise, a pregnant woman is at higher risk for preeclampsia. High blood pressure can deprive the baby of oxygen because of placental issues.
  3. Umbilical Cord Location – During an ultrasound, a physician should be able to identify where the umbilical cord is and whether or not it is wrapped around the baby’s neck. While it is true that a baby can become entangled during labor, the baby would exhibit low oxygen levels and heart rate, indicating a problem and giving a physician time to diagnose the umbilical cord problem.
  4. The Mother’s Health and Condition – Mothers over the age of 35, as well as those carrying multiples or suffering from chronic illnesses, are more likely to have a baby in fetal distress; therefore, they should be properly monitored, and physicians should be prepared to act quickly.
  5. Fetal Movement – Near the end of pregnancy, a physician should monitor fetal movement. If a mother reports reduced or no movement, the physician should immediately investigate and identify the cause.

Fetal Distress and Birth Injuries are Preventable – Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC

If your baby suffered from unnecessary fetal distress and physicians failed to act, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the birth injury attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC online or call 866-479-7909 to request a consultation.