Failure To Recognize Fetal Distress

Failure to Recognize Fetal Distress Attorneys in New Jersey

Birth Injury Lawyers for Neonatal Distress in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey

Baby couldn't breathe in labor NJ birth injury helpDuring labor and delivery, appropriate monitoring is critical. Abnormalities in the mother’s or fetus’ vital signs, irregularities in the mother’s contractions and a host of other issues can be indications that the fetus may be in distress. Fetal distress is a serious labor complication that occurs when the fetus is deprived of oxygen. It is an extremely dangerous situation that requires swift and decisive action on the part of the medical staff. If a baby under stress, failure to take action in a timely manner can result in a variety of complications, including permanent brain damage and even the death of the fetus. If your child has suffered in any way because of the medical team’s failure to recognize or respond to fetal distress, you may have grounds for a birth injury claim. Since these cases are highly complex, be sure that you have an experienced birth injury lawyer representing you from the start.

At Fronzuto Law Group, our experienced New Jersey birth injury attorneys represent children and their caregivers who have been injured because of medical mistakes during the labor and delivery process. If your child suffered a birth injury, we put more than 75 years of combined experience to work on your case. If a healthcare provider failed to take the necessary steps when your baby was in distress, we will do everything in our power to see that they are held accountable. Our firm will fight to ensure that your child receives all necessary medical care and seek damages for any other considerations relevant to your case. Please schedule a free initial consultation with our NJ birth injury lawyers today by calling 973-435-4551 (toll free at 888-409-0816). You may also contact our law firm online. We will ensure you understand your legal options and how to go about asserting your rights.

What Happens when Doctors Fail to Recognize Fetal Distress?

Pregnancy can be a joyous occasion, but it can also turn into a nightmare before you know it. Pregnancy can bring unexpected complications, which is why doctors need to be ready for just about anything in the weeks and months ahead of delivery. One of the most severe complications that can arise during childbirth is fetal distress, which can be fatal to both the infant and the mother. Fetal distress often poses significant health risks and may necessitate aggressive intervention by the doctor in order to save the lives of the child and the mother. In some instances, the doctor’s failure to deal with fetal distress can result in twisting of the umbilical cord, placenta rupture, or the baby being stillborn. Even when fetal distress does not prove fatal, it can result in serious birth injuries, illnesses, and disorders such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, infant brain damage, hypoxic encephalopathy (HIE), hydrocephalus, and other neonatal injuries.

The key to avoiding severe health issues related to fetal distress is early recognition of warning signs by doctors, nurses, or other hospital personnel. In fact, the number of available treatment options and the likelihood of successful treatment are greatly increased when fetal distress is recognized early enough for the doctor to take immediate action. A delayed diagnosis can cause irreversible harm by postponing necessary medical treatment and leading to permanent injuries to the child and mother that were otherwise avoidable. Failure to diagnose fetal distress, coupled with improper treatment, can result in catastrophic injuries or even death.

Possible Signs of Fetal Distress

Fetal distress can present itself in many different ways, including lack of oxygen, umbilical cord compression, nuchal cord (umbilical cord wrapping around the neck of the fetus), increased heart rate and abnormal vital signs, among others. One way that obstetricians can identify fetal distress is through the use of medical technology such as fetal monitoring systems and fetal heart rate monitors. Doctors are supposed to monitor the fetus with electronic fetal heart monitoring to ensure that the baby’s heart rate pattern is normal. A fetal heart rate monitor strip provides doctors and nurses with crucial information, such as whether the baby’s heart rate is rapidly accelerating or decelerating, the baby is suffering from oxygen deprivation, the baby has umbilical cord compression, umbilical cord prolapse, or nuchal cord, lactic acidosis is indicated by a buildup of lactate in the baby’s blood, meconium is present in the amniotic fluid around the fetus, or the baby is showing other abnormal vital signs. This, in turn, can help doctors to determine whether to intervene to help the baby get sufficient oxygen or to take some other action to ensure the baby’s health and safety.

Given the severe consequences of many birth injuries, it is essential that doctors have sufficient knowledge and training and be able to recognize the signs of fetal distress during labor. When necessary, doctors must also be ready to take appropriate steps, such as changing the mother’s position, performing an emergency Cesarean section, inserting fluid into the amniotic cavity, or administering additional oxygen, to relieve fetal distress as quickly as possible. Additionally, doctors must recognize signs of fetal distress when something goes wrong with the fetal heart rate monitor so that appropriate steps can be taken to fix the machine before any lasting damage is done to the infant.

Treatment of Fetal Distress

Monitoring should be done throughout the pregnancy, as well as during labor and delivery. This way, the signs of fetal distress can be recognized early enough for doctors to intervene if necessary and ensure that both the child and the mother are able to avoid serious injury or death. When these signs are not recognized and addressed, either due to negligence or simply because medical staff does not take them seriously enough, the end result can be catastrophic injury and permanent disability for the newborn.

When doctors identify fetal distress and recognize an abnormal heart rate, they may be able to take steps to provide the mother with additional oxygen, increase the amount of fluids to the mother, give the mother life-saving medication, or reposition the mother so that the child receives sufficient oxygen. If these options do not work, or if there is not enough time to increase oxygen to the fetus, doctors may look to perform an emergency cesarean section delivery and remove the baby from the womb. A C-section delivery under these circumstances must be performed very quickly in order to save the life of the baby, which is why any signs of fetal distress need to be recognized very early by doctors.

Contact Fetal Distress Injury Lawyers in NJ

There is no excuse for a failure to recognize fetal distress. Our knowledgeable NJ birth injury attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group are prepared to help you seek full and fair compensation for all of your child’s current and future needs. Contact our New Jersey offices to schedule a free consultation about your fetal distress claim: 973-435-4551 (toll free at 888-409-0816).

Practice Areas

Our attorneys advocate for those who suffer injuries due to the negligence of physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, hospitals, and medical facilities.

Medical Malpractice

Our team addresses the most complex of pediatric malpractice cases, including rare conditions such as craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly.

Pediatric Malpractice

Our firm represents individuals who are injured by improperly designed and manufactured products, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, auto products, and sporting equipment.


Our attorneys advocate for those who suffer injuries due to the negligence of physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, hospitals, and medical facilities.

Wrongful Death

If you or your child suffers from a birth injury, Fronzuto Law Group can help.

Birth Injuries

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