Fetal heart monitoring is essential in alerting nurses and doctors to potential problems during birth. During labor, fetal heart monitoring can signal the onset of fetal distress and other problems that may result in the need to perform a C-section or undertake certain delivery maneuvers during birth. In most cases, fetal distress results in insufficient oxygen to the brain, resulting in cerebral palsy and other hypoxic injuries. The long-term effect of hypoxic brain injury can include cognitive impairment, physical and mental development difficulties, brain damage, and speech problems.

How do I know if My Child has Anoxic / Hypoxic Brain Injury?

Your doctors may not have informed you that your child suffered from a lack of sufficient oxygen or they may have reassured you that everything is okay. However, the following symptoms of anoxic / hypoxic brain injuryshould alert you to potential negligence on their part:

  • Low Apgar score
  • Seizures 24 to 48 hours after birth
  • Abnormal muscle tone
  • Weakness
  • Inability or difficulty in swallowing or feeding
  • High levels of acid in the umbilical cord blood resulting in a low cord pH
  • Apnea
  • Lack of arousability


During delivery, nursing staff and doctors should regularly check the results of the fetal monitor. Periodically, a fetal heart monitor will produce results – referred to as “fetal strips” – that indicate the vital signs of the baby. If medical professionals fail to properly read or monitor fetal strips, lack of oxygen to the baby may go unnoticed. Here, oxygen deprivation in excess of 5 minutes results in anoxic brain injury, leaving a child with permanent brain damage.


Our personal injury attorneys understand the issues involved in fetal heart monitoring cases. We understand what records to review, how to isolate and identify lapses in communication, and what standard treatment protocols require of doctors in the delivery room. After trial, we can also explain to clients how a structured settlement or special needs trust can help them provide long-term care for their child.

To schedule a free consultation and discuss your case, contact the Law Office of Mallon and Tranger at any of our Ocean County or Monmouth County offices. Our lawyers can be reached by phone at 732-702-0333 or by contacting us online.