Prematurity Awareness Month draws attention to a concerning issue in the United States: premature births. According to the March of Dimes, approximately 380,000 babies are born prematurely in the United States each year, and the country's preterm birth rate is one of the worst among wealthy, developed nations.
Thanks to modern medical advances, babies can sometimes survive outside the womb as early as 24 weeks. However, most women give birth after 39 or 40 weeks of pregnancy, and babies born earlier than 37 weeks are considered premature.
The consequences of preterm birth can be devastating. Not only are premature births and their related complications the leading causes of newborn deaths in the United States, but the babies who survive can face serious long-term health problems and disabilities such as hearing or vision loss, developmental delays, and respiratory conditions.
Premature births can be caused by a variety of factors, including a medical provider's decisions during the pregnancy and in the delivery room. If those decisions are deemed negligent and a deviation from accepted standards of care, the medical professional may be held liable for injuries and other losses that result. Examples of potential medical negligence include:
- Failing to order bed rest for women at risk of going into labor too early
- Failing to recognize and diagnose preterm labor
- Failing to prescribe medications to slow or stop dangerously preterm labor
- Failing to diagnose and treat cervical insufficiency
- Failing to prescribe injections to help the baby's brain and lungs develop more quickly
Birth Injury Attorneys You Can Trust
If your child was born preterm due to medical negligence and suffered injuries or developed health problems as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Birth injury medical malpractice cases can be complex and challenging, but the experienced attorneys with Holton Law Firm are here to help. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.