Many things can lead to fetal distress, which is why it is so important for continual monitoring of the baby and mother during labor and delivery. However, some additional contributing factors may increase the potential for fetal distress.
Common Causes of Fetal Distress
- High Blood Pressure
- Umbilical Cord Entrapment or Compression
- Uterine Rupture
- Administration of Pitocin (labor inducing drug)
The attending doctor, nurse, or midwife should be aware of any of these preexisting conditions that the mother may be experiencing and should be monitoring the delivery as a high-risk birth. Careful and continual monitoring is necessary for safe delivery. These professionals must also be ready at any point to perform an emergency c-section if the baby becomes distressed.
New Jersey law states that the doctor must be ready to perform the c-section within 30 minutes of deciding it was necessary because of complications. In the medical community, this is referred to as 30 minutes from decision to incision.
Uterine ruptures and umbilical cord emergencies are considered emergencies as well. The same 30-minute deadline applies to these scenarios. If you or your baby has been harmed because of decisions made during the delivery, it is in your best interest to speak with a New Jersey birth injury lawyer about your case.
Injuries Sustained From Fetal Distress Can Last A Lifetime
Many of the injuries that are sustained as a result of fetal distress can last a lifetime. Lack of oxygen can cause different injuries, including Cerebral Palsy or even multiple disorders.
When forceps of a delivery vacuum is used incorrectly, the result could mean harm to the baby’s head, face, or shoulder area. Erb’s Palsy can occur when the shoulder nerves are damaged. This disorder can be severe enough to cause deformities to the arm and shoulder area. Extensive therapy and surgeries may be required.
Damage to facial nerves or injuries to the head could lead to Bell’s Palsy. This is a palsy that affects the facial nerves. Serious cases of Bel’s Palsy can even lead to damage to the eyesight in the affected eye. Bell’s Palsy usually only affects one side of the face, giving the child an asymmetrical appearance.
Any baby that has been injured during the birth process will require special and continual care. Some of the more minor injuries may be able to be overcome with time and therapy. Some of the more serious injuries will cause life-long conditions that will need some degree of continual care.
It is our belief as medical malpractice lawyers that the parties responsible for causing the injury to your baby should be held accountable for their actions. The best way to hold them accountable is to seek compensation for the injuries and suffering your baby has endured.