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Premature Babies May be at Higher Risk for Birth Injuries

Parents expect that their baby will be born happy and healthy, and without complications. Sometimes, however, complications do occur. While not frequent, complications during labor and delivery can cause mistakes to happen which could result in birth injuries. Premature babies may be at a higher risk for birth injuries because of their small size and other factors.

Premature Babies

The normal pregnancy should last approximately 40 weeks. An infant born at 37 weeks or less is considered premature. Giving birth to a premature infant can be a very scary experience. The parents are likely not prepared for the birth as it usually comes as a surprise. However, there are times when the doctor notes that there could be the possibility of a premature birth. For example, multiple births are often born earlier. Other conditions could also cause premature labor.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can range from mild to severe. They may be temporary or could cause a permanent disability. Because infants are unable to communicate immediately the full extent of injuries may not be known at first. Premature infants may be at a greater risk for birth injuries than full-term babies. Preemies do not always have fully developed internal organs and are extremely tiny. They must be properly cared for immediately upon birth in order to have the best possible chance for survival.

Determining When a Birth Injury has Occurred

Birth injuries may sometimes go undetected. This can be particularly true of premature infants who are suffering from a number of medical concerns that must be immediately resolved. Only once the infant is stabilized will some birth injuries be revealed. The infant may not be alert or may have a droopy eye or lip. As the infant grows there may be an indication that there are physical or mental deficiencies. These could have been caused by mistakes made during the labor or delivery of the child.

Common Birth Injuries

The most common birth injuries include brachial plexus injuries, fractures, cephalohematoma, bruises, asphyxia, intracranial hemorrhage, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy. These injuries can often be caused by the negligent actions of the doctor or other medical staff while giving birth. When a baby presents with any of these issues it is necessary to find out the precise cause of the problem. The situation could be more complicated when the baby has been born prematurely.

Birth Injury Lawsuit

Birth injuries can be the source of great emotional distress as well as extreme financial hardship. The costs to diagnose and treat birth injuries can be astronomical and many of the expenses may not be covered by insurance. Additionally, the child may need to have extended treatment or even lifelong care. These costs are largely unknown. For these reasons it is necessary to seek legal guidance. Parents of injured children may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses as well as for pain and suffering of the child and for the loss of enjoyment of life that the child will experience. If your child has been injured at birth contact the compassionate attorneys at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.

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