Whether it is a woman's first child or not, expecting a baby is an exciting time. And, as a woman nears her due date, she is likely in anticipation that the baby will come sooner than later. Even though it is difficult to wait for the arrival of a baby, it is important that a baby reaches a certain gestational age to ensure he or she is healthy and can survive on his or her own. Babies who are delivered early are considered "premature," and a premature birth could be the result of medical negligence.
With World Premature Day in November, this draws attention to the concerns regarding preterm birth. Specifically, that the rate of preterm births in the U.S. has been rising. While trends indicated a drop between 2007 and 2014, the rate of premature births has been rising since 2014.
It was found that about one in every 10 infants are born prematurely. This is defined as being born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Additionally, it was determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that preterm births are the leading cause of death among children under the age of five.
Because the final months and weeks of pregnancy are the most critical for a developing baby, preterm birth could impact the baby's development of the brain, lungs and liver. There is a higher rate of deaths and disability among babies born prematurely.
Because a preterm birth could lead to death or disability, medical professionals seek to prevent preterm births. Additionally, for those who must be born early, medical professionals must take measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the newborn. Failure to do so could cause harm to baby, and could be the basis for a medical malpractice action.
A birth injury caused by a premature birth can be a shocking and difficult event to go through and accept. This is especially true if the harm suffered will impact the baby well into their adult years. If a premature birth could have been prevented or was caused by a negligent medical professional, and may be possible to hold the party or parties at fault liable through a medical malpractice action.