About Fetal Distress

October 17, 2007

During fetal distress, physicians and other health professionals must respond promptly. If the condition causing fetal distress cannot be eliminated, immediate delivery may be necessary which may include an emergency cesarean section.

Profound Consequences

Depending on the nature, extent and duration of fetal distress, irreversible brain damage may occur. The degree of brain damage is dependent, in part, on the extent to which blood flow and/or oxygen flow that is interfered with. The term "hypoxia" is used whenever the brain or other tissue is not receiving adequate oxygen. This can occur despite normal blood flow if the oxygen content of the blood is reduced below normal levels. The term "ischemia" describes the condition when the amount of blood profusion to the brain or other tissue is reduced from normal levels. The terms "asphyxia" or "hypoxic-ischemic" brain injury describes the events that ultimate result in permanent brain damage and neurological problems such as cerebral palsy.

The consequences of irreversible brain damage on the child and the child' family are profound. Depending on degree of brain damage, the child may require constant or near constant supervision for the rest of his or her life, along with extensive therapy and other medical care. When brain damage is caused by medical malpractice, an experienced birth injury attorney can seek the necessary compensation needed provide the best possible care for the child' future. If you believe your child has a birth injury because of medical malpractice, contact Chicago Medical Malpractice Office for a free consultation.

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