Delayed Diagnosis of Fetal Distress

Symptoms experienced by the fetus before birth and during childbirth are referred to as fetal distress. Delay in diagnosing fetal distress during labor and delivery can cause serious injuries to the infant. If your child has suffered injury because of this medical error, contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC in Portland, OR. We are tough legal advocates for victims of birth injuries.

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What Is Fetal Distress?

The term “fetal distress” is broadly used to refer to signs and symptoms before and during childbirth that the fetus is not well. It is a complication of labor that typically occurs when the fetus is not getting enough oxygen. Fetal distress may occur when a pregnancy lasts too long or with complications of pregnancy or labor, including contractions that are too strong and/or too close together.

Doctors identify fetal distress by an abnormal heart rate pattern of the fetus. The infant’s heart rate is monitored throughout labor, either continuously with an electronic fetal heart monitor or a healthcare provider may use a handheld Doppler ultrasound device to check the baby’s heart rate every 15 minutes in early labor and with every contraction during late labor.

Consequences of Delayed Diagnosis

In most cases of fetal distress, the infant is not receiving enough oxygen during labor and delivery. With proper monitoring, doctors can diagnose and begin treatment quickly to help prevent long-term consequences for the child. However, when diagnosis and treatment are delayed, it can cause serious damage and long-term disabilities, including:

Who Is Liable?

Medical malpractice occurs when doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers fail to exercise reasonable care to monitor and promptly treat fetal distress, either through oversight or negligence. Responsible parties may include doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Damages you may be entitled to claim include economic damages, such as past and future medical expenses, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. In Oregon, unlike other states, there is no cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims, except for wrongful death arising from medical malpractice.

Why You Need a Lawyer

Birth injuries caused by delay in diagnosing fetal distress can have a tremendous impact on your child. Our Portland medical malpractice lawyers at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC help birth injury victims pursue compensation for the losses they have suffered.

Medical malpractice cases are technical and complex. Having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side can greatly increase your chances of recovering the compensation you and your family deserve.

Delayed diagnosis of fetal distress is a medical error with serious consequences for an infant and family. Contact our firm as soon as possible if your child was injured because medical providers failed to promptly diagnose and treat fetal distress. Our goal is to hold responsible parties accountable and recover maximum compensation under the law for you and your child.

Contact Us Today

Contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC for a free consultation if your child has suffered serious injuries during the birthing process.