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Bronx Failure to Detect Fetal Distress Injury

The birth of a baby is a time of joy for a family. However, if something goes wrong during labor and delivery resulting in a serious injury, that moment of joy could turn into a tragedy. During labor and delivery, the doctor, nurses and other medical staff actively monitor the baby to detect any type of distress. For example, a fetal distress monitor keeps track of the baby's heartbeat while a fetal scalp sampling will show whether the baby is getting enough oxygen. Monitors and tests give the medical staff information that it needs to take action where the baby is in distress. On the other hand, if the medical staff fails to properly monitor the baby, the baby could suffer a serious birth injury such as a brain injury, respiratory problems, cerebral palsy, blindness, a spinal cord injury, developmental delays, or another other serious, life-altering injury. If you or your baby suffered a serious injury as a result of a misdiagnosis or failure to detect fetal distress, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Bronx birth injury lawyer who will help you pursue compensation for your injuries and your child’s injuries through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Types of fetal distress

There are many signs that would tend to indicate that the baby is in distress or is not developing properly. For example, decreased fetal movement would indicate that they might be a problem. If a doctor notices decreased movement, then the doctor should take appropriate steps to ensure the health of the baby. Other symptoms of fetal distress that can be observed through proper monitoring include:

  • Stained amniotic fluid: Stained amniotic fluid indicates that meconium has contaminated the amniotic fluid, putting the baby at risk for meconium aspiration syndrome.
  • Decreased or fluctuating heart rate: Is a strong indicator that the baby is in distress.
Common reasons for fetal distress

During labor and delivery the medical staff must closely monitor the baby to ensure that any complications are immediately detected and addressed. Some of the common problems that can be detected through monitoring include:

  • Umbilical cord problems
  • Bad positioning of the baby prior to delivery, such as breech presentation
  • Placental eruption
  • Perinatal hypoxia
  • Shoulder dystocia

If fetal monitoring indicates that there is a problem with the baby, the medical staff has an obligation to quickly take steps to help the baby. Oftentimes the only way to relieve the distress and save the baby and mother is to immediately perform a C-Section. On the other hand, if fetal distress is not detected because of improper monitoring, the baby could suffer a variety of serious problems including brain damage.

For example, in Anyie B. v. Bronx Lebanon Hosp., 2015 NY Slip Op 2576 (N.Y. App. Div., 2015), plaintiff Anyie B. sued defendant Bronx Lebanon Hospital. Anyie alleged that the medical staff failed to properly monitor her baby’s heartbeat and perform a timely C-Section. As a result, Anyie’s baby girl suffered a loss of oxygen which resulted in her experiencing permanent brain damage, profound retardation, speech difficulties, cerebral palsy, and other serious medical issues.

Pursuing compensation for a birth injury

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional such as an obstetrician, nurse, or other healthcare professional fails to take reasonable care and as a result the patient suffers an injury. Thus, if a doctor fails to detect fetal distress, and as a result you or your baby are injured, New York law allows you to hold that doctor and other medical professionals legally and financially liable.

Both you and your child may pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity and pain and suffering. In addition, if your child has permanent disabilities, he or she may also be entitled to receive social security disability benefits.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

If you suspect that your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional failed to detect, treat or monitor your baby’s fetal distress, do not hesitate to immediately contact an experienced New York birth injury attorney. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates is experienced in successfully representing clients who have suffered injuries due to mistakes made by medical professionals, improper treatment, incorrect diagnosis, and failure to get informed consent. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.