A full-term pregnancy is one that lasts approximately 280 days or 40 weeks. When babies are delivered before 37 weeks, it is considered to be premature. Babies who are born prematurely are at risk of suffering life-altering injuries or even death. The shorter a pregnancy is, the higher the risks are for babies born before their expected due date.
Although preterm labor can happen for many reasons, there are many women who go into premature labor as a result of a medical professional’s negligence during the management of their pregnancy. The injuries suffered by babies as a result of preterm labor may also be increased as a result of a medical professional’s negligence in responding to preterm labor symptoms.
If your baby suffered injuries as a result of your premature labor, and you believe the negligence of a medical professional was the cause, you may be entitled to compensation from all responsible parties. Working with an aggressive medical malpractice attorney will help you get the justice you deserve.
Our lawyers at The Malpractice Group have extensive experience helping victims succeed with even some of the most complex legal claims surrounding preterm labor. Our skilled medical malpractice attorneys strive to help families protect their legal rights after sustaining injuries. Contact our team at your earliest convenience to schedule a free case review with our knowledgeable attorneys.
Symptoms of Premature Labor and Prevention Methods
After thirty weeks of pregnancy, women will begin seeing their doctors more frequently. At each visit, expecting mothers will receive an exam and have to answer various questions. It is during this time when signs of premature labor may be present. Some of the most common symptoms of early labor include vaginal bleeding, back pains, four or more contractions within an hour, and even intense pressure in the pelvis. Recognizing these signs and addressing them quickly are proven methods for prolonging pregnancy to ensure a full-time pregnancy is achieved.
Given the fact that preterm labor is the leading cause of neonatal death, it is important to take various steps to ensure a mother is able to achieve a full-term pregnancy whenever possible. Once symptoms of early labor are discovered, obstetricians must act swiftly to prevent it from happening. Some expectant mothers receive steroidal agents, which help unborn babies develop their lungs quicker. In addition, mothers can receive tocolytics medications, which can prevent the premature opening of the cervix. Enforcing strict bedrest can also help prevent a premature birth from taking place. Medical professionals who fail to recognize and address premature labor signs and symptoms can be held liable for resulting injuries and damages.
Legal Liability for Preterm Labor Injuries
Preterm labor can lead to devastating injuries or death for infants. When medical malpractice is the cause of preterm labor, those responsible can be held legally accountable for any injuries and damages resulting from the birth. Being subjected to medical malpractice and negligence once a woman begins to experience preterm labor can lead to injuries for both the baby and the other. In order to determine who is liable for preterm labor, it is essential to assess the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and birth.
- A Failure to Prevent Preterm Labor: When an obstetrician does not address preterm labor signs and symptoms in a timely manner and, as a result, a baby is born before term, they can be held liable. Without a doubt, the weight of an expecting mother can influence her going into labor early. For this reason, the doctor should monitor her weight and counsel her about risks associated with being obese during pregnancy.
- Failure to Adequately Treat Preterm Labor: Even when the direct negligence of a physician does not cause a woman to go into preterm labor, injuries to the baby may still occur as a result due to a physician neglecting to treat the preterm labor. Some examples of negligence include an obstetrician’s failure to timely diagnose a mother’s preterm labor so treatment can begin. The failure to prescribe and administer medications to slow or stop labor can constitute negligence under certain circumstances.
Working with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney will provide you with the best chances of getting justice.
The Liability of Hospitals and Clinics
When the negligence of a medical professional is found to be the direct cause of a child’s preterm labor injuries, the hospital or clinic that employs the doctor can be found liable for resulting injuries and damages. This indirect liability is the result of the direct liability of their employee. If the negligent actions took place while the doctor or medical professional was acting in the scope of employment by the clinic, hospital, or other company, they could share liability for the resulting damages and injuries.
On the other hand, if the negligence occurred while the patient was being treated in a hospital that employs the specific negligence physician, the hospital may be held vicariously liable for the resulting injuries and damages caused by the negligent provider.
Without a doubt, preterm labor can result in overwhelming pain and suffering and birth injuries that cause permanent impairments while requiring life-long treatment. It is crucial to contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights after suffering due to the negligence of a medical professional.
The Malpractice Group Can Help You
Proving negligence after preterm labor is challenging. Thankfully, our knowledgeable malpractice attorneys at The Malpractice Group have extensive experience helping families obtain the outcome they expect for even some of the most challenging cases.
Over the years, we at The Malpractice Group have earned a reputation for providing vigorous representation for victims throughout the state. If your baby suffered birth injuries due to preterm labor caused by negligence, contact our team today at (312) 561-4324. By scheduling a free case evaluation at your earliest convenience, we can discuss the circumstances surrounding your case to determine the best legal options available for getting you the justice you deserve.