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When Early Water Breakage Leads to a Birth Injury Claim

Michael Becker

You may be eligible to seek compensation through a Cleveland birth injury claim if your child was injured as a result of early water breakage, also known as premature rupture of the membranes. Consulting with a Cuyahoga County birth injury lawyer is the best way to learn what your legal options are and how you can protect your rights.

When a birth injury is preventable and it is found that medical negligence was the cause, this could lead to recovery of damages. However, proving this type of case can be complicated, which is why you should secure legal counsel.

Consequences of Early Water Breakage

A pregnant woman’s water can break early due to natural and unpreventable circumstances. However, in some cases, it is caused by a doctor’s actions or a failure to act appropriately.

If a doctor performs frequent examinations on the mother during her later months of pregnancy, and they are not warranted, this could be a cause for early water breakage.

When the water breaks, it is important that an examination by an OB/GYN be done as soon as possible. A delay could lead to injuries. When the water breaks for more than 18 hours before the beginning of labor, it increases the chances of the baby suffering serious consequences.

Some of the consequences of water breaking early include:

  • chorioamnionitis (amniotic fluid and membranes surrounding fetus are infected by bacteria, which can also lead to the infection spreading to the mother);
  • loss of vital nutrients;
  • umbilical cord prolapse (cord drops through the open cervix, which can lead to the baby becoming entrapped by it);
  • premature delivery;
  • fetal distress;
  • infection (herpes, staph, beta-strep); and
  • death.

Infections can also result in further complications such as developmental delays, neonatal strokes, brain injuries and cerebral palsy.

Detection of early water breakage can be confused with urine leakage. In some cases the wetness a pregnant woman experiences is not significant enough to make it obvious that her water has broken.

However, in any case, a doctor should perform an examination if there is any complaint of leakage. The amniotic sac may be leaking, instead of experiencing a full breakage.

Damages in a Cleveland Birth Injury Claim

If your child was seriously injured, and it was the result of medical negligence, then you could be entitled to receive damages related to the additional medical expenses you are facing, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Losses can include financial, physical and emotional injuries. They may also include any future medical treatment that your child may have to undergo. Depending on the severity of your child’s injuries, expensive long-term care may be necessary.

It is in your best interest to consult with a Cuyahoga County birth injury lawyer to discuss your case and learn what legal options may be available to you. A lawyer will be able to determine if you have a valid case of medical malpractice and can help assemble the evidence you will need.

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