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Fetal Death and Medical Malpractice Claims

It is usually the cause of much joy and celebration when a couple finds out that they are going to have a baby. On the other hand, there is a great deal of hurt, sorrow and pain that is caused by the death of a fetus.

Fetal death in the United States does not have a standard definition. In the broadest sense, fetal death is the loss of a fetus at any stage of its development. When fetal death occurs before 20 weeks’ gestation, it is usually regarded as a spontaneous abortion. When the death of a fetus takes place after 20 weeks’ gestation, it is usually considered to be a fetal death or stillbirth.

Definition of fetal death


Although it may vary from state to state, fetal death is legally defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as being, “Death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from the mother of a product of human conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy and which is not an induced termination of pregnancy. The death is indicated by the fact that after the expulsion or extraction, the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles.”

Fetal death may be the result of natural causes, such as unpredictable complications or genetic disorders. However, fetal death may also result from things like an error or oversight on the part of a medical worker, nurse or doctor.

Medical malpractice


If this is the case, this may be fetal death that is due to medical malpractice. According to Wikipedia, medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error.

A medical malpractice claim for fetal death may be brought about by several things. Some of these are:

Inadequate monitoring during birth, such as failure to closely monitor things like the child and mother’s breathing and heart rate
Poor response to an emergency situation, such as dealing with sudden problems like placental abruption or hypoxia (lack of oxygen for the child)
Failure to treat or notice risk factors like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure (preeclampsia)
Womb abnormalities and disorders
Diseases and infections
Unexpected shifts of the fetus inside of the womb.

Failure on the part of a health care provider to catch and deal with these things may involve medical malpractice.
The death of an unborn child may be one of the most devastating things that you will ever experience in life. Losing that unborn child due to medical malpractice is even more devastating.

Negligent behavior on the part of a health care provider during pregnancy and/or childbirth can be the grounds for a medical malpractice claim. In order to file a medical malpractice claim for fetal death, you will need the assistance of a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you determine if your case is legitimate and if a medical malpractice claim for fetal death is your best course of action.