Liability for Premature Births

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Full term pregnancies last approximately forty weeks.  A premature birth is one which occurs approximately three weeks or more before the forty weeks.  When a premature birth occurs, there are significant medical risks to the baby.

Premature births can arise in various ways.  Initially, a premature birth may be due to an unknown reason.  Secondly, the premature birth could be due to negligence on the part of the physician.  A physician could fail to notice or promptly treat the symptoms of premature labor and therefore commit premature birth negligence.  In addition, premature birth may be the result of maternal exposure.  For instance, the mother may have ingested medication which is contra-indicated for pregnancy.  In such an instance, there may be liability on the part of the prescribing physician or the drug manufacturer for failure to warn the mother of the risks of taking the medication.  In the event that the mother loses the baby, there could also be miscarriage liability.

Premature Birth Risks

There are various complications which may arise due to a premature birth.  These risks include, but are not limited to the following:

  • low birth weight
  • respiratory distress syndrome
  • digestive problems
  • developmental disabilities
  • cerebral palsy
  • bleeding and fluid in the brain
  • increased risk of heart disease later in life
  • increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes later in life

Liability for Premature Births

Physicians and medical health professionals owe patients a duty to care to provide professional health care.  In instances where these individuals fails to do so based upon errors, bad choices, recklessness, carelessness or negligence, these individuals may face liability.  Such a situation amounts to medical malpractice upon which a lawsuit may be filed.

Help from a Lawyer

If one has had a premature child who has had an injury, birth defect or other medical problem, one may seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.  An experienced attorney can not only evaluate one’s claim to determine whether there is a valid legal basis for a lawsuit, but also the attorney can help to assess what legal options may be available.  In addition, there may be particular time frames in which to file a lawsuit, and the attorney will be able to guide one through this process.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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