Baltimore Injuries from Prematurity Lawyer
The birth of a new baby should be one of the most joyous moments of your life. When your child’s health is placed at risk though, it can quickly become one of the most stressful. Prematurity, also known as pre-term birth, can cause several injuries and it is usually caused by the negligence of a doctor or other healthcare professional. If your child has been injured, our Baltimore premature injury lawyer can determine what caused the injury and help you claim the compensation your family deserves.
What is a Premature Birth?
Full term births are those that occur between 37 and 40 weeks of gestation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), any child that is born before 37 weeks gestation is considered premature. Any birth after 24 weeks is considered viable because at this point, the child can usually survive outside of the womb. Even in these cases, the child will likely suffer from injuries that may stay with them throughout their lives.
Common Injuries from Prematurity
A child may suffer a number of different injuries when they are born premature. The most common of these include:
- Jaundice: Jaundice is a condition that occurs when the liver cannot rid the body of bilirubin, a substance that is manufactured during the normal breakdown of red blood cells. When affected by this condition, a baby’s skin will look slightly yellow, as bilirubin is yellow.
- Kidney issues: An infant’s kidneys usually mature very quickly once they are born, but a premature baby could experience kidney issues, particularly if they are born before 28 weeks of gestation. In these cases, the kidneys may have problems ridding the body of waste without excreting excess fluids, filtering waste from the blood, and producing urine.
- Infections: Premature babies are much more prone to infection because their immune system has not fully developed and they often need a number of procedures, such as inserting an IV line. These procedures can introduce viruses or bacteria into the infant’s system, causing an infection to develop.
- Respiratory issues: The lungs of a premature baby often lack surfactant, a substance that coats the lungs and allows them to remain open. When there is a lack of surfactant, the lungs cannot expand and contract normally. Apnea, a condition in which a person stops breathing for 20 seconds or more, is another common injury from prematurity.
- Cardiac problems: The most common cardiac condition premature babies will suffer is patent ductus arteriosus. The opening between the two major blood vessels of the heart is known as the ductus arteriosus. This opening may stay open and fail to close in premature babies, which can cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs as more blood is pushed through them. In these cases, heart failure can occur.
Sadly, the above are just a few injuries a child may suffer when they are born premature. Cerebral palsy and issues with vision and hearing are other common conditions. Many of these injuries are the result of negligence on the part of the healthcare provider, and they can be held accountable for paying damages that result from the injuries.
Our Birth Injury Lawyers in Baltimore are Here to Help
If your child was born prematurely and is now suffering from injuries as a result, our Baltimore birth injury lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Normal, LLC, can determine if the early birth was a result of negligence. Call us today at 410.567.0800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.