Preterm labor and birth can be dangerous for both mother and baby. The earlier a baby is born, the more health complications they are likely to have, some of them long-term or even permanent. Often, babies born prematurely have to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), sometimes for longer than what would have been full-term. For mothers, the complications that caused them to go into labor early and deliver prematurely have the potential to be serious or, in some cases, life-threatening.
While medical advancement has helped reduce problems associated with preterm birth, it still occurs frequently. Sometimes, preterm labor and delivery happen due to medical mistakes or negligence. If you or your baby was injured due to preterm birth that could have been prevented, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Pregnancy typically lasts about 40 weeks. Labor that begins before 37 weeks is considered to be preterm, as are babies that are born before 37 weeks. When a mother goes into preterm labor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the baby will be born prematurely. However, it does mean that medical attention should be sought immediately.
Babies that are born early are at risk of serious health conditions. Some of those conditions are lifelong, like cerebral palsy. Other issues, like developmental delays, may not appear right away, but instead, show up later in childhood or even after becoming an adult.
Doctors are responsible for identifying risk factors when they are present. A failure to do so may result in a delay in treatment, which could negatively affect the mother, baby, or both. Some of the known risk factors of preterm birth include:
In many cases, preterm labor starts unexpectedly, and the exact cause is unknown. The early signs of preterm labor are like those of regular, full-term labor. They include:
If any of these signs are present before 37 weeks, it may indicate premature labor, which may lead to preterm birth.
There are many different reasons that a baby may be born early, some of which are unpreventable. However, in cases where a doctor’s or other medical professional’s negligence causes or contributes to premature delivery, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to hold the party responsible.
Not all medical mistakes are found to be medical malpractice, and these cases can be challenging to prove. You need a medical malpractice attorney who has experience with preterm birth injury cases. Your attorney will have to prove that your doctor (or another medical professional) violated the standard of care and, as a result, caused the mother or baby to sustain injuries or health issues. Doctors are responsible for monitoring pregnant women for any signs of preterm labor and treat those signs appropriately and promptly. A failure to do so can lead to the child or mother needing a lifetime of medical care or even death.
At Ross Feller Casey, we have a team of Ivy League-educated doctors on staff to consult on preterm birth cases. They have the education and experience to carefully review medical records and identify where any negligence occurred. We also have expert attorneys with proven track records of winning large financial recoveries for parents who have been impacted by preterm births and the injuries that resulted.
Let Ross Feller Casey help with your preterm birth case. Contact our office today to schedule your free case review. One of our knowledgeable birth injury attorneys will help you decide how to proceed with your claim. All of our medical malpractice cases are handled on a contingency basis, so there is no cost to you until there is a financial recovery for the claim.
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