Did Premature Delivery Of My Baby Kill My Wife?


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Pregnancy usually lasts for about 40 weeks, which is considered to be full term. However, in some pregnancies, babies are born earlier than that. Preterm birth is one in which the baby is delivered before 37 weeks of pregnancy. While premature babies are viable and can potentially survive outside of the womb after just 24 weeks, there will be health challenges the earlier they are born. Additionally, mothers who deliver early can be subject to medical complications during and after a preterm birth. Depending on the specific complications and circumstances, mothers who have preterm labor and delivery can die as a result.

When there is a preterm delivery that results in complications to the mother or child, it may be due to medical negligence by the doctor or other medical staff. In these cases, it's important to obtain an experienced medical malpractice attorney's assistance, especially when the preterm birth resulted in a mother's death.

What Increases The Risk Of Preterm Birth?

There are various reasons that a mother may go into preterm labor and give birth too early. Those risk factors include:

  • A mother who is very underweight or overweight before pregnancy
  • Insufficient prenatal care
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol or using drugs during pregnancy
  • Pregnancy with twins or multiples
  • History of preterm labor or delivery
  • Health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and others during pregnancy
  • Being pregnant from in vitro fertilization
  • Being pregnant with a baby who has birth defects
  • Getting pregnant too soon after a previous birth

What Are The Symptoms Of Premature Labor?

To help identify premature labor, it’s important to know the signs. Prompt medical treatment can make all the difference in the long-term health of both mother and baby. The signs of premature labor include:

  • Lower back pain or aching that may come and go but doesn’t go away when you change positions
  • Menstrual-like abdominal pain or cramps, with or without diarrhea
  • Vaginal bleeding or leaking fluid from the vagina
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pressure or feeling the need to push
  • Contractions occurring every 10 minutes or more often

Some of these may be hard to differentiate from normal pregnancy symptoms, like abdominal discomfort or backache, but you can't be too careful. You should contact your doctor immediately to be checked if you have any of the above symptoms.

Preterm Birth And Medical Malpractice

While most doctors are very knowledgeable and competent, there are still many medical malpractice cases in the US every year. Some of those cases result in death. It’s estimated that around 50 percent of maternal deaths during pregnancy, labor, and delivery are preventable and a result of medical negligence. The negligence of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can cause exacerbated complications and direct injury to mothers and babies. Unfortunately, completely treatable conditions are sometimes missed, ignored, or treated too late, resulting in negative consequences and even death.

Doctors are responsible for providing a standard level of care for mothers and babies during pregnancy and childbirth. When a doctor fails to do so, it may cause a preterm birth and subsequent injuries. Some examples of medical malpractice in these cases include when a doctor fails to:

  • Order bedrest when an expectant mother is at risk of preterm labor
  • Identify the signs of preterm labor
  • Prescribe steroid medication for the acceleration of the baby’s lungs and brain when preterm labor begins
  • Prescribe medication for the mother to slow or stop preterm labor
  • Treat ineffectual cervix promptly and properly

The above are some examples of medical negligence or malpractice that may cause or contribute to premature birth, leading to the death of a baby or mother. To prove that malpractice occurred, you need legal representation by an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Let Ross Feller Casey Help Your Family

Suppose your family has experienced the loss of a mother during premature labor or delivery. In that case, you need to find out if there were mistakes made by medical professionals and whether your loss of a loved one could have been prevented. Premature deliveries can be caused by negligence on the part of physicians, nurses, and other medical staff. When medical professionals make mistakes that harm a mother or child, they can be found liable for the injuries or death and held accountable.

Medical malpractice cases are often complicated, requiring both legal and medical knowledge to have a positive outcome. Additionally, investigating and researching the case can take significant time and resources. At Ross Feller Casey, we have the knowledge and the resources to help you with your claim.  

Our premature birth injury attorneys have a track record of winning lawsuits just like yours, providing families with compensation for the financial burdens they’ve sustained at the hand of medical professionals. We have a team of top doctors right on staff to assist with all medical malpractice lawsuits, including those involving birth injuries. Let us help you with how to proceed with your claim.

We handle all malpractice cases on a contingency basis. Your case evaluation is free, so you don’t pay anything until there is a settlement or winning verdict in your case. Contact us today.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.