The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a premature birth as any birth that occurs 3 weeks or more before a mother’s due date. Preterm births can cause serious neurological disabilities or even death among children. The earlier a child is born, the more likely she will have a health-related issue. If you are concerned about harm to your baby caused by preterm birth that you believe arose from medical negligence, the knowledgeable Syracuse birth injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can help you learn more about your legal rights.Preterm Birth
Throughout its time in the womb, a fetus grows and develops, and each week in the womb in a pregnancy that is 40-weeks-long assists in fetal development. Accordingly, babies born prematurely have a greater risk of having issues that may not have existed had they been able to mature for longer in the womb. Problems that may arise in connection with preterm birth include cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, visual impairments, respiratory issues, jaundice, hearing loss, and feeding problems. Most premature babies need medical interventions and usually require longer stays in the hospital at birth than babies who are born closer to their due dates.
There are numerous risks likely to increase the odds of have a preterm birth. These include having previously delivered a baby preterm, maternal diabetes ,and maternal high blood pressure. Other risk factors for preterm birth are sexually transmitted infections, uterine problems, abnormalities of the cervix, kidney disease, blood clotting disorders, or placental abruption. There are ways to reduce risk, however. For example, you can seek prenatal care for monitoring throughout pregnancy. For another example, if you had a premature baby previously, you can be injected with the medication Makena to reduce the chances of a preterm birth.Liability for Birth Injuries
When a child suffers injuries as a result of being born prematurely, and you suspect that medical malpractice is to blame, you can consult a birth injury attorney to assess your legal options. Birth injury lawsuits require you to establish medical malpractice. These are often challenging lawsuits subject to a number of special rules and prerequisites as compared to an ordinary personal injury case, so it’s wise to discuss the particulars of your situation with legal counsel.
Doctors should provide reasonably competent care for mothers and babies during pregnancy and birth, but sometimes doctors fail to do so. Sometimes they may miss signs of preterm birth, which can include a dull backache, pressure in the pelvis or vagina, vaginal bleeding, fluid leaking, or uterine contractions that are 10 minutes apart or less. To establish liability for birth injuries, you will need to show: (1) a doctor-patient relationship giving rise to a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages.
What constitutes a breach of the professional duty of care in a birth injury case can vary depending on the circumstances. It could include failure to observe signs of premature labor, failure to prescribe medications to slow or halt early labor, failure to prescribe proper steroids to accelerate the brain and lung development of a baby, and failing to order bed rest when there’s a danger of preterm birth. You can only hold the doctor responsible for any of these if it’s not how a reasonable, competent doctor would have acted under the circumstances. Usually it’s necessary to retain a credible expert on the issue of what the doctor should have done to diagnose or stop preterm labor and birth in order to prove your claims.Hire a Seasoned Birth Injury Attorney in Syracuse
A preterm birth can result in significant harm to a baby that might otherwise have lived a life without injuries or disability and the costs that those issues can entail. In certain instances, it results in death. The lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent those harmed by preterm birth in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including areas such as Canandaigua, Binghamton, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Elmira, Lyons, Auburn, Herkimer, Oneida, Utica, Wampsville, Watertown, Oswego, and Lowville. Call our firm at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.