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Pregnancy is a time for planning and excitedly anticipating the addition of a new family member. Unfortunately, physician error can lead to fetal death, turning a joyous occasion into a mournful tragedy. When a doctor or other healthcare professional does not act with a reasonable standard of care, their mistakes can be fatal.
If your baby died during pregnancy or delivery, speak with a knowledgeable South Carolina OB malpractice attorney at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, as soon as possible to discuss the merits of your claim. Count on attorneys with 20 years of litigation experience to fight for the compensation you need.
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Different causes of fetal death
There are various circumstances that may lead to the death of a fetus, including:
- Failing to diagnose and treat gestational diabetes. Diabetes can prove extremely harmful to the mother and fetus during pregnancy. Left untreated, the condition causes excessive weight gain in the baby, which increases the risk of complications during the birthing process. For the mother, gestational diabetes often leads to premature delivery and a life-threatening condition called preeclampsia, placing the fetus in significant danger.
The diagnosis of gestational diabetes typically occurs through a series of blood sugar tests administered throughout the pregnancy. Physicians should also advise expectant mothers about possible symptoms and give heightened attention to women with common risk factors, such as maternal obesity, family history of diabetes, and advanced age pregnancy.
- Failure to perform a timely C-Section. When faced with the potential dangers of labor and delivery, women trust their physicians to make knowledgeable and timely decisions about the safest course of action. If a C-section is appropriate, you expect that the decision will be made in enough time to avoid potential injury to the fetus.
There are certain birthing conditions where a C-Section is the standard procedure. For example, if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, a C-section provides a safer method of healthy delivery, without further harming the infant. When a physician fails to commence the C-section in a timely manner, the fetus becomes severely distressed from the lack of oxygen to the brain.
- Ignoring the mother’s symptoms. When a fetus is not healthy, pregnant women often experience symptoms that alert to the presence of a problem. She may notice a lack of movement from within her womb or she may experience signs of sickness herself, such as bleeding or high temperature. When a mother alerts a physician to these symptoms, it is the responsibility of that doctor to listen, consider possible complications, and conduct appropriate tests. By ignoring a mother’s symptoms, a physician places the mother and the fetus at risk of harm and even death.
- Improper administration of Pitocin. Pitocin is a medication that is administered to pregnant women for the purpose of inducing labor. It is often given in situations where delivery is significantly overdue, or when there are signs of distress for the baby and/or the mother. There are numerous risks with this course of action and it requires adequate assessments of the fetus and mother’s health. Quite often, it becomes appropriate to stop the administration of Pitocin. Failure to do so in a timely manner sometimes results in brain damage, cerebral palsy or death of the fetus.
- Failing to treat pregnancy induced hypertension/preeclampsia. Like gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension is also extremely dangerous to the mother and the fetus. The development of preeclampsia is common, sometimes leading to improper growth of the fetus, abruption of the placenta, and extremely premature birth.
When gestational hypertension appears early in the pregnancy, it should alert the physician to the need for extra precaution and treatments throughout the gestational period. He or she should also recognize some of the risk factors, which include obesity, advanced age and pregnancies of multiple fetuses.
If your baby dies due to the negligence of a medical professional, our South Carolina fetal death attorneys are prepared to represent you with compassion, skill, and tenacity.
Put experience on your side when making a fetal death claim in South Carolina
The skilled South Carolina birth injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, work hard to secure compensation for our clients in fetal death cases. We possess more than 20 years of litigation experience, and we are not afraid to put forth an aggressive representation. Call us today at 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation at one of our offices conveniently located in Rock Hill, Anderson, Sumter, Georgetown, and Columbia.