The Facts About Preterm Labor Malpractice

Full term pregnancy normally lasts 39 to 40 weeks. However, circumstances do exist where babies are born early, doctors call these premature births. Babies can survive outside the womb as early as 24 weeks, but they face many challenges on their way to heading home. While there are many natural reasons for a baby to be born early, sometimes doctor negligence is the cause. When this happens, a mother may sue the doctor for damages resulting from the negligence. Victims of this malpractice should call a Florida birth injury lawyer right away.

Premature Delivery Causes

While exact causes remain a mystery, experts have identified several factors that may place a baby at risk of premature birth. A mother is more likely to find herself facing an early birth if she has a weight issue, a history of multiple early term abortions, gave birth less than nine months before the current pregnancy, or has any of the following (note: this list is not exhaustive; consult a medical professional regarding risks you may face):

  • Two or more babies in the womb
  • History of premature birth
  • Cervix anomalies, like an ineffectual cervix
  • Uterine difficulties (infections)
  • Amniotic fluid infection
  • Infection of the urinary tract
  • Pregnancy issues to include gestational diabetes
  • Current or previous sexually transmitted diseases
  • Blood clotting issues
  • Disease of the kidney
  • Bacterial vaginosis or other genital infections

Indications of Premature Delivery

If you experience preterm labor and have one of the above risks, seek medical care immediately. All women should exercise caution when this kind of labor hits, but those in a high-risk pregnancy require care as soon as possible to ensure a healthy delivery. In some cases, medications can help delay labor. However, if the labor continues, being at the hospital is crucial for prematurely birthed baby’s survival. Some signs of preterm labor include:

  • Contraction less than ten minutes apart
  • Lower back pain
  • Cramping in the abdomen or uterus
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Vaginal bleeding or other discharge
  • Sudden decrease in baby movement

Medical Malpractice During Preterm Labor

If your doctor fails to identify the signs of pre-term labor, provide directions for proper care of an at-risk mother, apply sutures in the event of an ineffectual cervix, order steroid use to keep the baby’s brain and lungs functioning, or prescribe the correct medications to slow down birth, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Some evidence exists that malpractice can, in fact, cause premature birth to take place. In this circumstance, if you can prove that another competent doctor would have made the right call regarding the labor and what steps to needed to follow, then you can hold the doctor responsible for any injuries resulting from his or her actions.

Preterm Labor Problems

Potential injuries that may result from preterm birth vary depending on how early the baby was born. A baby born too early will not survive; those born prematurely are more likely to face serious complications, including hearing or vision impairment, internal organ problems, delays in development, and even death. Proper identification and treatment of preterm labor can prevent these problems.