Risks of Premature Birth and Possible Complications
The risks of premature birth may be minimized by taking proper precautions when a mother enters preterm labor. While some birth injuries may be impossible to avoid, others may be the result of lack of proper care or failure to address the risks of a premature birth. Parents who suspect this is the case may consult a birth injury lawyer to go over potential medical professional liability.
What are some of the risks with premature birth?
Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are generally considered to be premature. The risks of premature birth could necessitate hospitalization for long periods or require surgery and other medical interventions. Some children may also have to deal with a lifetime of medical issues, which parents may address through a legal claim with a Cleveland birth injury lawyer if a medical professional acted negligently to cause the injury.
While every situation is different, according to the March of Dimes, some health issues associated with a premature birth may include:
· Anemia – The body does not get adequate oxygen because of a lowered amount of red blood cells.
- Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) – Bleeding that usually occurs in the central part of a baby’s brain.
- Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) – Failure of a connection (ductus arteriosus) in the heart to fuse or close properly that can lead to heart failure and difficulty breathing.
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) – May lead to fluid, scarring or infections in the lungs.
- Jaundice – The liver does not fully form or has problems functioning causing yellow skin and eyes.
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) – Death of the intestinal tissue. Affects a baby’s stomach and intestines leading to feeding difficulties and diarrhea.
- General infection – Premature babies have a lowered immune system leaving them susceptible to germs and bacteria that can cause infections in the brain, blood and other vital organs.
While the aforementioned afflictions can be dangerous, with proper care many babies recover from these conditions. However, in some cases the child may suffer lingering injuries or even lifelong effects from the condition. This may be despite proper medical care, but in some cases inadequate care may lead to serious injuries. In the case of the latter, parents can review the case with a Cleveland birth injury lawyer.
What causes a baby to be born prematurely?
The medical community has not come to a clear consensus on what causes preterm labor and a baby to be born before he or she is full-term, but there are some risk factors that may be associated with preterm labor and birth including:
- physical injury or trauma to the mother;
- stressful or traumatic life events;
- pregnancy with twins or multiples;
- smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy;
- a previous premature birth;
- poor nutrition; and
- use of fertility drugs.
Preterm Labor, Birth Injury and Contacting a Birth Injury Lawyer
No matter what caused a preterm labor and birth, it is imperative that the doctor delivering the baby and caring for the child he or she is born handle the situation quickly and by using the correct medical procedures to help reduce risks of premature birth. However, this is not always the case and a negligent doctor could further complicate the birth, injuring the child.
Parents who suspect medical negligence caused their child’s serious injury or death may contact a Cleveland birth injury lawyer at The Becker Law Firm to discuss details of the case and review their legal options. During consultation, parents may review the circumstances of the preterm labor and what they suspect led to the injury, any medical records that exist, as well as whether the risks of premature birth were properly addressed by the medical staff.