Indianapolis Stillbirth Malpractice Attorneys - Cohen & Malad

Improper Fetal Heart Monitoring/ Stillbirth

Indianapolis Fetal Distress Medical Malpractice Lawyers


The birth of a child is a very exciting time for parents regardless whether it is their first child or their fourth child. Pregnant mothers rely on medical professionals to monitor their health and that of their unborn child and advise them of any problems or issues that may arise during pregancy and childbirth. Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals owe a duty of care to their pregnant patients and need to be diligent in monitoring and diagnosing childbirth problems in order to prevent mistakes which can lead to serious injury or death of the patient or her child.

The members of your labor and delivery team can vary based on the facility you have chosen for childbirth. These health care personnel use various equipment to monitor your vital signs, uterine contractions, and your baby’s heartbeat. The information obtained by this equipment identifies problems that arise during childbirth so that action can be taken to avoid serious injury or death to either the mother or baby. It is the responsibility of the doctor along with the labor and delivery personnel to properly read and interpret this information to safeguard the health of their patient and her baby.

Fetal distress refers to a wide range of signs an symptoms present before and during childbirth that indicate that the fetus is not well. A fetal heart rate monitor is often used to detect irregularities in the fetus’ heart rate such as rapid or slow heart rates occurring after contractions. These irregularities can lead to serious injury or death if delivery is delayed.

Stillbirth Medical Malpractice Claim

An Indiana couple was expecting their third child. While in labor in Bloomington, Indiana, the mother began vomiting uncontrollably. The fetal heart monitor, which shows the baby’s heart rate and problems with the heart rate, began showing signs of fetal distress. The fetal heart rate monitor then showed significant late decelerations (low heart rate after a contraction), fetal bradycardia (very low heart rate), and fetal tachycardia (very high heart rate). Then the fetal heart rate mysteriously became normal. The heart rate became normal because the monitor began picking up the mother’s heart rate instead of the baby’s, which should have been obvious to the labor and delivery nurse and the Obstetrics Doctor from merely looking at the monitor’s record of the mother’s heart rate. The failure of the nurse and the doctor to recognize the fetal distress and the monitor’s display of the mother’s heart rate led to a still birth. Case settled.

Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The relationship between a doctor and patient is built on trust. Patients rely on doctors and medical personnel to provide accurate diagnoses and treatments. When a doctor breaches that trust by failing to recognize serious symptoms such as fetal distress, not only is the doctor-patient relationship at risk, so is the health of the patient and her baby. If you or someone you care about suffered a serious injury due to medical negligence in monitoring a fetal heart beat during delivery, contact us. Our Indiana medical malpractice attorneys have experience in litigating claims from Tipton, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Bloomington, Martinsville, Indianapolis and all across the state of Indiana and can inform you of your legal rights and options.