Minnesota Failure to Treat Preterm Labor
Preterm labor is a medical condition that occurs when an expectant woman starts experiencing contractions earlier in the pregnancy than normal. These contractions usually occur between 20 and 37 weeks of pregnancy and they cause the cervix to begin to open. Preterm labor places the infant at great risk of being born prematurely, which can cause a number of physical and mental disabilities.
Doctors have a responsibility to identify when an expectant woman is at a greater risk of experiencing preterm labor. Physicians must also know how to treat preterm labor when it occurs so the health of both the child and woman are kept intact. If your doctor failed to identify or treat preterm labor, our Minnesota birth injury lawyer can help you claim the financial compensation your family deserves.
Symptoms of Preterm Labor
All expectant mothers, and even women planning on starting or adding to their family, should know the symptoms of preterm labor. The most common include:
- Pressure or tightening in the abdomen, which could indicate contractions
- Persistent dull ache in the lower back
- Vaginal spotting or light bleeding
- Pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- Cramping in the abdomen
- Change in vaginal discharge
- Gushes or small trickles of fluid, which can include the membrane has ruptured early
How is Preterm Labor Treated?
Preterm labor is very dangerous for both the woman and the child, which is why it is so important that doctors know how to treat it. Some of the most common ways in which preterm labor is treated are as follows:
- Bed rest: Even standing can place great pressure on the cervix that may cause it to open. When a woman shows signs of preterm labor, a doctor may order bed rest to help the cervix to remain closed.
- Cervical cerclage: A medical procedure known as cervical cerclage stitches the opening of the cervix to close it. This is most commonly used when a woman’s cervix is not strong enough to stay closed on its own.
- Antibiotics: A doctor can prescribe antibiotics that can reduce the risk of infection that is common during preterm labor.
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are a type of medication that aid with maturing an infant’s lungs so they can develop fully and function better.
- Tocolytic medication: Tocolytic medication can slow contractions and in some cases, stop them altogether. A doctor can administer this medication through an IV line or as an injection.
- Delivery: In the event that the condition does not respond to any other treatment, or the baby is at great risk of suffering harm, early delivery of the child may be necessary. Early delivery due to preterm labor usually requires a C-section.
When doctors do not provide the necessary treatment to slow or stop preterm labor, it is a case of medical malpractice. Doctors should be held liable for their negligent acts so other families do not suffer, and so that victims can receive financial compensation for their losses.
Call Our Birth Injury Lawyer in Minnesota Today
If your child suffered an injury as a result of preterm labor that was not properly identified or treated, our Minnesota birth injury lawyer can help. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman, LLC, our skilled attorneys have the necessary experience to determine what caused the injuries to you and your child, and to hold physicians accountable. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.