In some cases, preterm labor and premature birth occur no matter what efforts mothers and their doctors take to prevent it. However, sometimes, the risk factors are apparent, and there are steps doctors can take to reduce the risk of premature delivery or help the baby be born healthy.
Sometimes, preterm delivery and related birth injuries may support a medical malpractice birth injury claim. A birth injury attorney can help you understand your rights and legal options. Call Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Understanding Preterm Labor and Birth Causes
Some illnesses, medical conditions, and other problems increase a woman’s risk factors for preterm labor and premature delivery. Many of these conditions are manageable or even treatable if caught early before they affect the pregnancy or the fetus. If you experience any concerning symptoms during pregnancy, it is important to discuss them with your doctor as soon as possible.
Even relatively minor infections can dramatically increase the risk for preterm labor, in some cases. Some preterm labor and birth causes and risks include:
- Undiagnosed and untreated urinary tract infections
- Some types of sexually transmitted diseases
- Vaginal infections, including bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis
- Maternal high blood pressure
- Vaginal bleeding
- Fetal developmental abnormalities
- A mother who is significantly underweight or obese
- Less than six months between pregnancies
- Placenta previa
- Maternal diabetes or gestational diabetes
- Blood clotting disorders
There are also additional risks that are more difficult to manage, including those with an increased risk of uterine rupture, those carrying multiples, and those whose pregnancy was the result of in vitro fertilization.
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Premature Babies Are at an Increased Risk for Birth Injuries
The preterm labor and birth causes and risks generally revolve around the danger of a baby being born before their body and organ systems are fully developed. Babies born before 28 weeks of gestation are at the greatest risk for complications, but any baby born before about 38 weeks may struggle with complications related to prematurity.
Premature babies are generally very small, usually below five and a half pounds. They may require medical assistance breathing, regulating their temperature, and other autonomic tasks.
Some complications related to prematurity include:
- Trouble regulating their body temperature, often becoming too cold
- Problems regulating their own breathing
- Heart defects
- Problems with maintaining blood pressure and heart rate
- Low red blood cell counts, called anemia
- Trouble maintaining blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
- Kidney problems
- Poor feeding, reflux, digestive concerns
- Bleeding in the brain
The smallest babies are often the sickest, fighting several serious complications and requiring months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Many babies who are born early continue to live with lasting effects of their premature birth throughout their lives. Seizures, lasting disabilities, lung conditions, and intellectual deficits are all relatively common in children who were born prematurely.
To get help with your child’s possible medical malpractice case, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 today for a free case consultation.
You May Have a Viable Medical Malpractice Case
In some cases, preterm labor and premature birth may support a medical malpractice claim. Your best option to know if you are eligible to pursue compensation is to have a birth injury lawyer review the facts of your case. They will be able to explain:
- Your legal rights
- The role your doctor or other medical care professional played in your child’s birth injuries
- Whether or not your child’s birth injuries and complications were preventable
- Whether you have a strong enough case to hold the doctor or hospital liable
If they find that you have a strong case for compensation, they will go to work immediately to protect your rights and build a strong case on your family’s behalf. Your case may require them to enlist the help of a medical expert witness in proving your case. Many states require this type of expert opinion before you can take legal action to hold the doctor liable.
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Your Birth Injury Attorney Can Help You Build a Case
If your lawyer believes you have a case against a doctor or hospital, they will take steps to gather evidence and build a strong case. Throughout this process, you can focus on other tasks. Your attorney may have questions for you, but they will handle the majority of this process on their own.
They need to prove that your child’s birth injuries occurred as a result of the doctor’s negligence and not because of an unpreventable medical condition or other risk factors. Your attorney will know the types of evidence necessary to prove this type of case and will prepare to prove your case during settlement negotiations or at trial.
It is important that you act quickly because there are statutes of limitations in place in every state. Some allow additional leeway, called tolling, when the victim is an infant. Your attorney can explain the laws and how they may apply in your case. This reason is why it is so important to work with a birth injury lawyer.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Case
If your child was born prematurely and suffered complications or birth injuries, you should discuss your case with an attorney who regularly handles birth injury cases. Most medical malpractice birth injury lawyers offer free case reviews. You have nothing to lose learning if you can pursue compensation and hold the doctor liable for their negligence. Your lawyer will want to prove if your doctor failed to consider preterm labor and birth causes and risks like preexisting conditions.
Call Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529. Our team can help you schedule your free consultation.
Preterm Labor News
Tiny Baby Survives, Released From New York Hospital
A tiny baby, born less than 11 ounces, has managed to beat the odds and has finally left the hospital after eight months. ABC News reported on the miracle survival.
The baby, named Connor, was born in July 2018 by an emergency C-section. He was diagnosed with multiple issues involving his lungs, as well as extremely low birth weight.
The baby was born at 26 weeks, which would normally give the child an 80-90% chance of survival according to the baby’s doctor. However, the baby was less than half the expected weight of a baby at that stage. When the baby was delivered, he was about the size of a human heart.
The baby stayed in the NICU at Westchester County Medical Center in Maria Fareri, then underwent rehabilitation at Blythedale Children’s Hospital. Thanks to their care, the baby is now 10 pounds, 10 ounces and was cleared to go home.
The family was interviewed on Good Morning America. You can read their comments in the linked article.
Not all difficult births are caused by a malpractice event. Most doctors have their hearts in the right place and want to use their skills to save lives and improve outcomes. We commend the doctors in this case for helping such a small child to survive on his own!
Researchers Find Better Way To Deliver Oxygen To Premature Babies
Premature babies have difficulty breathing. This can lead to hypoxia and cause brain damage. However, damage can also happen if there is too much oxygen. Two studies were reported that may point to a new way to balance oxygen levels in ventilators for babies that would get them off a ventilator sooner. Medical Xpress reports.
One of the things doctors want to see in a baby is spontaneous breathing. But in premature infants, they may not have the strength to do that. The longer they are on a ventilator, the higher certain risks become. Doctors wanted to see if giving pure oxygen to a baby would encourage them to take breaths sooner.
Two studies were performed. The first study used premature rabbits to see if using pure oxygen would help them breathe sooner and more deeply. The hypothesis was correct. Breathing was more stable.
Once there was proof, they were able to move to human subjects. 52 babies were studied, half on a standard air mixture for ventilators, the other on 100% oxygen. The babies on pure oxygen put more effort into breathing and had better oxygen levels in the body.
However, the study also looked at ways to control the percentage of oxygen to avoid damage. Using pulse oximeters, they adjusted the percentage down as the baby was able to breathe better on their own.
The next step is to incorporate this new technique into a clinical practice study to see if it works better than standard methods of care for premature babies.