Preterm Birth – The Leading Cause of Neonatal Deaths

Extreme care and caution is required when bringing a child into this world.

preterm-birth-complicationsMothers trust their doctors to make the right decisions and facilitate a safe childbirth. However, there are cases when doctors fail to meet their responsibilities, leading to birth injuries. Birth injuries can occur any time during pregnancy and delivery. One of the leading causes of birth injuries is preterm birth. This occurs when the infant is delivered before the completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant deaths, not only in the United States, but across the world.

Primary Causes of Premature Birth

Preterm births are normally divided into three stages:

  • 34-37 weeks: late preterm
  • 25-33 weeks: very preterm
  • Before 25 weeks: extremely preterm

Most pre-term deliveries reported are late pre-term deliveries. There are a number of conditions that can cause a pre-term birth. Some of these conditions are:

  • Previous pre-term births.
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Multiple abortions or miscarriages.
  • In vitro fertilization.
  • Diabetes.
  • Inadequate pre-natal care.
  • Pregnancies with multiple fetuses.
  • Less than 6 months between pregnancies.

Complications Associated with Preterm Births

Premature infants face a wide range of complications, some of which can be life threatening. The infant may face breathing difficulties because of an underdeveloped respiratory system. Inadequate supply of oxygen to vital organs can prevent them from developing properly and can lead to chronic diseases. Preterm babies may also face problems with proper brain development, because of a higher risk of intraventricular haemorrhaging. In more severe cases, the baby may suffer permanent brain damage. Some babies may have to undergo surgery to stop the bleeding and relieve pressure on the brain.

Getting Help for Your Child

A doctor has an important role to play in preventing preterm births. The first course of action is prevention through regular check-ups. Through routine exams, the doctor should be able to identify certain risks factors in a timely manner, and then develop a course of action to manage them. During labor, proper monitoring and quick decision making is essential for the safety of the mother and baby. If a doctor fails to meet any of these responsibilities, it can result in birth injuries and he or she may be held liable.

If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, contact Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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