ERNST & YOUNG
Fetal acidosis describes a medical condition in which an unborn baby's blood has high acidity due to receiving insufficient oxygen through the umbilical cord. This medical problem can lead to brain damage or even death. There are many possible causes of fetal acidosis, and most of them are preventable, which is why the parents of affected infants may want to consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor at fault. But first, it's helpful to find out more about the common causes and results of fetal acidosis, followed by information on how to begin a fetal acidosis lawsuit.
Causes of Fetal Acidosis
Fetal acidosis occurs when the fetus does not get enough oxygen during birth. There are a few common reasons for this complication, and all of them unfortunately tend to result in either permanent injury or death. For example, if the umbilical cord is compressed or wrapped around the neck just before birth, the fetus won't get enough oxygen, which can lead to acidosis.
In other cases, the fetus is positioned oddly in the womb, or is too large for the birth canal, making it difficult to get him or her out before fetal acidosis sets in. Shoulder dystocia is another possible cause of fetal acidosis, as the baby's shoulders become stuck during birth, keeping him or her from getting enough oxygen.
No matter which of these situations occur during birth, most of the time, a qualified doctor who is paying attention can prevent the issue by providing medical services in line with the standard of care. If a patient believes the doctor did not do everything possible to prevent the issue that led to fetal acidosis, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be a good idea.
For example, if the doctor failed to monitor the mother to check for hypotension, pre-eclampsia or other medical issues, his or her negligence could have caused fetal acidosis. Additionally, if the doctor did not properly monitor the fetus during pregnancy and birth, he or she might have missed clear cues that a C-section was necessary. And if the doctor didn't use certain equipment or labor-inducing medications properly during the birth, a fetal acidosis lawsuit might be the best route for the parents to take.
Possible Outcomes of Fetal Acidosis
Medical malpractice lawsuits are fairly common in cases involving fetal acidosis, and that's because the outcome of this condition tends to be devastating. At the worst, it can lead to death of the infant during or shortly after the birth. But even the best outcomes are life changing for the parents and infant.
When a baby survives fetal acidosis, he or she may be left with developmental delays, frequent seizures or paralysis, all of which often require lifelong medical care as a result. Cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy are some other conditions that fetal acidosis can cause. Such conditions demand regular medical care for life, which can be expensive and time consuming, and that's why it often makes sense to put together a medical malpractice case once fetal acidosis has been diagnosed.
How to Initiate a Medical Malpractice Case for Fetal Acidosis
In many cases, fetal acidosis could have been prevented if the doctor had not been negligent during the birth. For this reason, parents who are dealing with this condition in their baby after a traumatic birth experience should consider a medical malpractice lawsuit. To get started, it's important to talk to a lawyer who has experience with medical malpractice cases, and birth injury cases in particular. Fortunately, Maryland residents can get a free case evaluation from Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek to discuss their options. Those in other states should do the same with a legal office near them so they can find out how to proceed with their fetal acidosis lawsuit.
In order to even start a medical malpractice lawsuit for fetal acidosis, it must be clear that the medical team that was present at the birth violated the standard of care. This means one or more medical professionals were negligent during the birth. The parents of the baby must also be able to show that the negligence of the medical professionals led to injury, which would be fetal acidosis in this case. If there's no proof of injury--or no evidence of negligence--a medical malpractice case might not be advisable.
But if there's evidence of both, the parents of the affected baby may be eligible for compensation that covers the financial expenses of the patient's medical care. This includes the cost of both current and future medical needs, such as surgery, medication, physical therapy and more. In addition, the family might be able to get compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages related to fetal acidosis.
The parents and baby will never be able to be made whole again after a devastating birth experience, but they can at least avoid having to pay for medical expenses during the life of the child. To get this kind of outcome, they need to contact a lawyer to discuss their case. For anyone in Maryland, the right firm to contact is Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek. Our firm has experience handling medical malpractice cases involving fetal acidosis and other medical conditions, so we're happy to provide legal guidance to any parents whose baby has cerebral palsy or other birth injuries. Contact us today to get started.