Fetal Asphyxia and Medical Malpractice

Asphyxia is a fancy term used to describe loss of oxygen to the body.  When an unborn baby suffers a loss of oxygen, doctors call the problem fetal asphyxia.  The lack of oxygen in the uterus could be from umbilical cord compression, placenta separation, prolonged labor, medication errors, or from a number of other problems.  The condition can result in permanent injury or even death to the child.  

The experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney knows that fetal asphyxia cases can be caused by medical malpractice.  What this means is that a doctor’s mistake – a mistake that people expect to not be made – can cause the death of a child.  

Short of death, the newborn baby could suffer brain damage from oxygen deprivation.  Readers may wonder, “Don’t doctors and nurses monitor the baby to detect signs for fetal asphyxia”?  Yes, it is true that birthing professionals do look for such signs.  Or at least, they are supposed to.  The sad fact remains that mistakes do in fact happen.

We are not talking about just any mistake; we refer to negligent errors.  These are the types of errors that would not have occurred if another doctor and or nurse delivered the baby.  Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is that medical professionals should be on the lookout for signs that the baby is in distress.  If negligence caused them to miss signs of fetal asphyxia, then the medical professional can be held liable in a court of law.

How do doctors know if the baby indeed suffered from a loss of oxygen?  The child could be born with bluish or very pale skin.  The child’s breathing may be feeble, or the child might not be breathing at all.  Seizures are another sign of oxygen deprivation.  Poor muscle reflexes and a muted cry are more signs.  

What does all of this mean?  It means that doctors are responsible to recognize the problem and take action to save the child; action such as ordering an emergency C-section for example.  Negligence can happen during these responsibilities.  It also means that doctors are also responsible to diagnose the child as having suffered from fetal asphyxia.  Delivering a child that has, say, a shallow cry or very blue skin and then failing to properly diagnose the child as having had a loss of oxygen can also be medical malpractice.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.

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