Birth Injury from Premature Delivery in Los Angeles
The average healthy term of pregnancy is 38 weeks. When a child is born before 36 weeks have passed in the womb, this is typically considered preterm. Premature delivery may occur at any time between 26 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, but a delivery before 26 weeks is most often not successful. A premature delivery puts an infant at risk of injury, particularly due to the fact that the lungs may not be fully developed. The lungs develop between 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy, and if a baby is born too early the lungs may not be developed enough to sustain a steady flow of oxygen through the blood and into the brain. As such, a premature infant will often spend time in the NICO (neonatal intensive care unit) and may receive breathing assistance until the lungs are more developed.
Underdeveloped lungs after a premature delivery put an infant at risk of oxygen deficiency, leading to concerns of brain damage as well as such conditions as cerebral palsy or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. As such, doctors should act quickly to try to prevent a premature delivery to at least 32 weeks and assist the baby in developing more quickly, which may be accomplished by way of a steroid injection to the mother to speed up lung development.
Malpractice and Premature Delivery
Negligence or malpractice may be linked to premature delivery in different ways: incorrect dating and therefore a misdiagnosis of how far along the mother is in the pregnancy, improper treatment to delay delivery, negligence in administering steroids to speed up the lung development process, or improper treatment of a premature infant after delivery.
If your child was born prematurely and is experiencing health issues as a result, you may wish to consider taking legal action if malpractice was involved. Contact a Los Angeles birth injury lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group today for a free consultation.