Fetal distress is a term used to describe any situation that results in negative impacts to fetal health status. Fetal distress can be evaluated by the mother as a decrease in felt fetal movements. If a mother’s “water has broke,” and the fluid is stained brown or greenish with meconium (fetal bowel movement) this is considered a sign of possible fetal distress, even though fetuses can pass meconium without any negative impacts affecting their health. The fetal heart rate is probably the best indicator of whether or not fetal distress is present. A heart rate that is too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia) can indicate that interventions for the wellbeing of the fetus need to be made. Fetal acidosis is another indicator of distress. Acidosis is a condition where metabolic wastes are building to high levels and not being disposed of properly. Acidosis is also a result of too much carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, meaning the fetus is experiencing hypoxic conditions (not enough oxygen). Acidosis can be measured from a serum sample from the fetus.
Often when fetal distress is detected and measures to alleviate it are ineffective, an emergency C section delivery will be necessary. Some of the most common causes for fetal distress are
If you believe an OB/GYN misdiagnosed fetal distress during pregnancy or delivery that resulted in harm or injury to you or the baby, then you may be eligible for damages. Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let us review the facts to establish whether you have an OB/GYN medical malpractice case. If we decide to take your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds for you.