Wayne County Premature Baby Injury Attorney
Premature babies face an uphill road from the very beginning. Due to their low birth weights, premature babies are more likely to develop a wide range of cognitive and physical conditions that can last their entire lives. In many cases, these injuries are the unavoidable result of a child entering the world too early.
In other situations, negligent healthcare providers cause irreparable harm during these complicated births. At the Wayne County birth injury law firm of Sommers Schwartz, P.C., we represent families who have experienced the trauma of a preventable birth injury. Our attorneys command an impressive knowledge of the laws governing these claims and the science behind them.
Why Are Premature Babies at Greater Risk of Birth Injury?
Most mothers deliver a baby after about 39 to 40 weeks of pregnancy. A delivery is classified as “premature” if it occurs before 37 weeks. About 380,000 babies per year are born prematurely—just under 10 percent of all U.S. births. The preterm birth rate in the United States is among the worst of the world’s high-resource countries.
There are two main reasons premature babies face a higher risk of sustaining a birth injury. First, a premature birth likely means something went wrong during the pregnancy. This could cause labor to begin early, or doctors may induce premature labor to address the issue. The underlying problem could increase the risk of injury during delivery; the unexpectedly urgent nature of the delivery may also increase the risk of mistakes. Second, a premature baby’s bodily systems may not be fully developed. Medical personnel must use appropriate techniques to safely deliver and immediately respond to babies with underdeveloped lungs or other life-threatening conditions. Failure to do so can result in permanent injuries or even death.
What Causes Premature Birth?
Often, the reason a baby is born prematurely is not apparent. However, medical experts know that certain factors contribute to the likelihood of preterm birth. These include:
● Being underweight or overweight before getting pregnant.
● Conceiving through in vitro fertilization.
● Having a previous premature birth.
● High blood pressure.
● Multiple miscarriages or abortions.
● Physical injury or trauma.
● Pregnancies that occur within six months of another child’s birth.
● Pregnancies with twins, triplets, or other multiples.
● Problems with the uterus, cervix, or placenta.
● Smoking cigarettes or using illegal drugs.
While premature birth can result from circumstances outside of anyone’s control, it can also be due to a mother receiving inadequate or negligent prenatal care.
Complications of Premature Birth
Premature babies face many possible complications. Their vulnerability puts them at a greater risk of developing a wide range of short- and long-term conditions. In this context, short- and long-term refer to the onset of the symptoms rather than their duration. In other words, a short-term complication appears within the first few weeks of life and may or may not improve over time.
Short-Term Complications of Premature Birth
The following complications usually become apparent within a few weeks of a child’s birth:
● Brain problems.
● Breathing problems.
● GI problems.
● Heart problems.
● Immune system problems.
● Metabolism problems.
● Temperature control problems.
Long-Term Complications of Premature Birth
The following complications are not likely noticeable at birth but typically begin to manifest within the first few years of a child’s life:
● Behavioral problems.
● Chronic health conditions, such as asthma.
● Cognitive development issues.
● Dental problems.
● Hearing problems.
● Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
● Vision problems.
If your child experiences any of these problems or conditions, it may be due to their premature birth. A skilled premature baby birth injury lawyer can help you determine whether your child’s condition may have been caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider.
Are Doctors Responsible for Premature Baby Birth Injuries?
Whether a doctor or another healthcare provider is responsible for a premature baby’s birth injuries depends on the surrounding circumstances. Certainly, some birth injuries are an unavoidable result of preterm birth. In other situations, doctors should have recognized the warning signs and taken reasonable steps to prevent negative outcomes. Doctors and medical staff may also cause or worsen a newborn’s injuries by providing negligent medical care during and after delivery.
A few examples of situations where a medical professional may be legally responsible for a premature baby’s birth injuries include:
● A doctor’s failure to notice signs of preterm labor.
● A provider’s failure to prescribe steroid injections to speed up the development of crucial organs.
● A doctor’s failure to administer medication to prevent premature birth.
● A provider’s failure to place a soon-to-be mother on bed rest when she presents risk factors of preterm birth.
Of course, these are just a few ways a doctor can breach the duty of care owed to an expectant mother and her child. Whether a doctor or medical professional’s actions were negligent depends on whether a reasonable medical professional in similar circumstances would have reasonably taken the same steps or made the same decisions. It can be a complicated, emotional, lengthy process to pursue a birth injury claim against a doctor, nurse, midwife, hospital, or another medical defendant. A dedicated Wayne County premature baby birth injury lawyer can help you and your family determine whether a physician’s negligence was the cause of your child’s injuries and support you every step of the way.
Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., Today
If you delivered a premature baby who tragically suffered birth injuries, it might be a result of medical malpractice. Sommers Schwartz, P.C., is a Wayne County birth injury law firm with extensive experience handling premature baby birth injury lawsuits. Sommers Schwartz lawyers have authored a textbook on handling birth injury cases and are often asked to speak at important birth trauma conferences, including the Boston University Medical School Annual Perinatal Conference and the American Conference Institute’s Annual Advanced Forum Obstetric Malpractice Claims. Our compassionate team will help you recover what you deserve for your baby’s care and your own emotional and physical trauma.
To learn more and schedule a free consultation with a Wayne County birth injury lawyer, call 1-800-783-0989 today. Calling is free, and because we take all birth injury cases on a contingency basis, we will not bill you for our legal representation unless we can help you recover financial compensation.