Premature Birth Injuries or Deliveries in New York
When New York obstetricians can prevent a premature birth and fail to apply standard practices to do so, or when hospitals fail to provide standard postnatal care and their failure harms the baby, you should consult with experienced medical malpractice lawyers. At Rich & Rich, P.C., our New York City attorneys have more than 45 years of combined legal experience and handle many medical negligence cases.
What is a premature birth or delivery?
A full-term pregnancy lasts from 37 to 42 weeks and babies born prior to 37 weeks are considered premature.
Problems associated with premature births
Premature births in New York City can create trouble for babies whose brains and lungs are not fully enough developed yet. In fact, premature birth can lead to the following birth injuries in babies:
Actions doctors should take to prevent birth injury in premature babies
Standard medical actions can often prevent birth injury, even in a prematurely born baby. Through an ultrasound, doctors should be able to gauge the baby's developmental progress, detect health problems the baby may have and observe any problems with the placenta.
Doctors often should be able to predict a premature birth based on the following factors:
- Carrying multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc.)
- Mother's history of premature births
- In vitro fertilization
- Urinary or reproductive tract infection
- Mother's health conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, clotting disorders)
- Problems with uterus, cervix or placenta (preeclampsia)
Use of antibiotics can prevent infections. The doctor may order the mother to bed rest to prevent her from going into labor, put her on anti-labor medications and even put her on steroids to help speed up the fetus’s development.
Once a premature childbirth occurs, proper postnatal care is extremely important. Physicians must carefully monitor premature newborns for signs of jaundice, meningitis or pneumonia and treat immediately if indicated. Some babies must be kept on a breathing machine or in an incubator. It is vital to keep the baby warm and well-fed.
The importance of seeking experienced legal help
New York lawyers who can successfully handle premature delivery or birth cases have an in-depth understanding of the medical procedures involved, as well as access to a network of medical professionals who can evaluate and testify that a doctor provided substandard care which harmed the baby.