Couples in Los Angeles who are careful about the upcoming birth of a child are not immune to the possibility of a negligent doctor making an error that leads to birth injuries. Knowing the signs of fetal distress is part of the process to preventing birth injuries and any other issues from harming the infant. However, if there were signs of fetal distress and the medical professionals failed to act accordingly, it is important to know how to proceed.
Fetal distress can occur when the fetus is not receiving enough oxygen when in the womb or during birth. If there is an abnormality in the fetus's heart rate, it is often attributed to fetal distress. Contrary to common belief, there is a difference between birth asphyxia and fetal distress. Birth asphyxia can happen if there is a problem with the umbilical cord or if the baby is not receiving adequate blood flow from the mother.
Doctors who are caring for a pregnant woman must be cognizant of the fetus's condition to avoid complications and treat them if they arise. For example, it is beneficial for the doctor to keep track of the baby for when the fetus is not receiving sufficient oxygen (hypoxia), to monitor the contractions when labor has begun, and to check the fetus to determine how it is responding to hypoxia. Doctors who find fetal distress might be more likely to consider a Cesarean section, which also has risks.
There are certain women who might be more vulnerable to fetal distress. These include those with anemia, who have a lower level of amniotic fluid, suffer from pregnancy induced hypertension, have post-term pregnancies, and other issues. Certain treatments can help women whose fetus is in distress. However, if a medical professional does not react in time and in an appropriate manner to a woman whose baby is in distress, it can cause extensive, costly damage.
Source: americanpregnancy.org, "Fetal Distress," accessed on June 9, 2015