Often, fetal distress is detected by an abnormal fetal heart rate. It is used to describe a fetus not getting enough oxygen during pregnancy or labor. A fetus can be deprived of sufficient oxygen for a number of reasons, including maternal smoking, low oxygen levels in the mother's blood, a prolapse of an umbilical cord, or placental infarction. Sometimes intrauterine growth retardation is caused by or results from fetal hypoxia. If your child suffers birth injuries due to fetal hypoxia that was not properly managed or addressed by a doctor in Syracuse, Rochester, or beyond, you may be able to recover damages from the health care provider. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse fetal hypoxia lawyers take pride in providing strong legal representation for our clients' claims against negligent health care providers.Claims Arising from Fetal Hypoxia
Both "asphyxia" and "hypoxia" are used to describe inadequate oxygen provided to the baby before, during, or immediately following birth. Signs that a baby lacks oxygen include erratic or decreased fetal heart rate and lack of movement. There are various causes of fetal hypoxia. One is that a mother has a medical condition that lowers the oxygen in her blood. Another is a problem in how the placenta provides oxygen.
However, in some cases, there is medical malpractice that results in birth trauma or a delivery complication like shoulder dystocia that reduces how much oxygen the baby is getting. For example, a doctor may over-stimulate the uterus with too much Pitocin. A nurse may fail to monitor the mother's blood pressure. Or a doctor may fail to induce labor in a mother who has gestational diabetes, allowing her to go post-date, and the placenta may stop functioning. The outcome may be fetal hypoxia. Signs at birth include blue skin or pale skin, lower heart rate, weakened muscle tone, a weaker cry, poor reflexes, and breathing difficulties. If you notice any of these signs, you should contact a fetal hypoxia attorney in the Syracuse area who can investigate the situation.
When fetal hypoxia is not properly addressed or treated, it can result in a brain injury, cerebral palsy, cognitive problems, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or even death. Moderate or severe fetal hypoxia substantially increases a baby's risk of suffering a lifelong disability. There is no cure for brain damage caused by moderate or severe hypoxia, and the costs for treating these conditions are prohibitive — often far more than what new parents expect to pay for a newborn or child. Families often need therapy to cope with the challenges of caring for a child with cognitive problems or brain damage. It is possible to hold a doctor responsible if medical malpractice causes fetal hypoxia and birth injuries.
If you need to establish medical malpractice to recover damages after your child develops fetal hypoxia, your Syracuse fetal hypoxia attorney will need to show that it is more likely than not likely that there was a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor or other health care provider deviated from the accepted professional standards related to patients like the mother and the baby in a particular geographical area, and the deviation caused your baby to suffer injuries. When a doctor fails to handle fetal hypoxia appropriately and in conformity with the way that other similarly situated health care providers would handle it, they may be liable for damages.
Damages that you may be able to recover on behalf of your baby include medical treatment, medical equipment, medications, the cost of lifelong and rehabilitative care, therapy, pain and suffering, and lost enjoyment of life. You may also be able to recover damages for your emotional distress when a baby's fetal hypoxia results in serious emotional distress to the baby's other parent and you.Retain a Fetal Hypoxia Lawyer in Syracuse or Surrounding Areas
A birth should be a joyful time. However, for parents whose children suffer birth injuries, it can be a time of immense stress as they try to decide how to cope with issues like prohibitively expensive medical treatment or a need for lifelong care. If your baby suffers injuries due to a doctor's failure to appropriately handle fetal hypoxia, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from responsible parties. We also represent families in Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, and all of Upstate New York. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.