Every expectant mother hopes that her pregnancy will go full-term and that she will have a healthy baby to take home from the hospital. The unborn baby continues to grow throughout the entire pregnancy, and it has the best chance at being healthy when born after 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Unfortunately, 1 out of every 10 births in the U.S. -- or an estimated 380,000 babies each year – are delivered too soon, often with devastating, life-changing results.
There are many factors that can contribute to a baby being born prematurely, and some are simply unavoidable in nature. However, there are some premature births that can be prevented, and may in fact be caused by a doctor’s deviation from the accepted standard of care.
Ross Feller Casey has developed a national reputation for successfully litigating a wide array of lawsuits involving premature births caused by medical negligence. The firm’s victories in such cases have resulted in numerous seven- and eight-figure recoveries that have helped parents provide extensive and expensive medical care for their seriously injured children.
Some of our many multi-million-dollar recoveries have involved:
- Injuries from premature delivery due to the failure to place a cervical cerclage for cervical incompetence or insufficiency
- The failure to properly manage preeclampsia and delayed delivery, resulting in placental abruption and fetal bradycardia
- Injuries suffered as a result of medication errors in neonatal intensive care units, or NICUs
- Injuries from the failure to address non-reassuring fetal heart tracings
There are numerous causes for a premature birth, and doctors must be aware of them in order to appropriately care for expectant mothers. These are just some of the causes:
- Women with a history of a second trimester miscarriage or a previous premature delivery
- Women who are found to have a short cervix (a condition where the cervix is not the length that it should be) during a routine sonogram
- Women with recurrent urinary tract infections
- Women with diabetes – gestational or pre-gestational
- Women with hypertension, which can result in preeclampsia
- African American women, who, regardless of age or other conditions, are naturally at greater risk for delivering premature babies
- Women with vaginal infections or sexually transmitted diseases
Because there are many things that can cause a baby to be born early, a doctor needs to ask the right questions of the expectant mother. Failure of the doctor to recognize, properly monitor and/or treat any of the factors mentioned can certainly rise to the level of negligence and malpractice. If this has occured to your baby, you should speak with an experienced premature birth attorney.
Expectant mothers should give their doctors as much information as they can about their medical history, but they may not be aware of all of the things that can contribute to premature birth. Consequently, a doctor must be prepared to ask pertinent questions to have all of the information needed to lower the chances of an early birth. If a doctor neglects to ask thorough questions and fails to act appropriately once the information is obtained and a baby is born premature as a result, it could be a case of malpractice and the mother may have grounds for a premature birth lawsuit.
When a premature birth does occur, there are many medical complications that can affect the child, and there is a higher risk of serious disability or death the earlier the baby is born. Some problems that a baby born too early may face include:
- Breathing problems
- Difficulty feeding
- Increased risk of severe infection
- Neurological problems
- Cerebral palsy
- Delayed development
- Vision and hearing impairment
Determining whether or not a premature birth could have been prevented can be complicated, so it is imperative that you have both legal and medical experts to help and support you. Ross Feller Casey has the experts to do this. The firm has a team of Ivy League trained doctors on staff in Philadelphia, including Dr. Charles H. Bowers, a nationally recognized physician with extensive experience in both surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Bowers has been Board Certified in ObGyn for more than 30 years and has held positions of leadership and influence at three of New York City's busiest health-care facilities.
If you or a loved one has given birth prematurely, you may have a case of medical malpractice. One of our attorneys in can assist you in determining if you have a lawsuit, and how to proceed. Contact Ross Feller Casey for a free case evaluation to discuss your concerns.
The premature birth lawyers in Philadelphia at Ross Feller Casey handle cases on a contingency basis, so there will never be a cost to you unless there is a financial recovery in your case.