Premature Preterm Rupture of Membranes (PPROM), or the “breaking” of a pregnant woman’s “water” before 37 weeks of gestation, may result, in some cases, from the negligence of the woman’s obstetrician or other medical professionals, such as nurses or physician’s assistants, during a woman’s pregnancy. When injury occurs to the woman’s fetus as a result of this negligent care, the medical professionals responsible may be liable for the injuries sustained by the baby in a court of law. Injury to a fetus may also occur as a result of negligence in the treatment of PPROM.
If your child has suffered injuries due to the PPROM, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible for those injuries. Contact birth-injury and PPROM-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2827 to learn more about your legal options.
What is Premature Preterm Rupture of Membranes?
While PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes) is the rupture of membranes after 37 weeks of gestation, Premature Preterm Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) is the rupture of membranes between 24-37 weeks’ gestation. Most patients deliver within one week of either PROM or PPROM. The symptoms of PPROM include leakage of fluid, vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, and pelvic pressure without contractions.
What causes PPROM?
Adequate nutrition and cessation of smoking can lower your chances of PPROM. When PPROM has already occurred, proper response on the part of medical personnel is required to prevent serious injury to the fetus. The diagnosis of PPROM may be achieved through a pelvic exam or ultrasound.
What are the risks associated with PPROM?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates active measures by obstetricians to prevent the occurrence of PPROM, as the mothers of approximately 3-4% of babies born in the United States experience PPROM prior to the resulting preterm birth of their children. In these cases, as with PROM, risk of infection to the baby may occur if bacteria from the vagina gain access to the fetus. In some instances, PPROM may cause a portion of the umbilical cord to come out of the cervix ahead of the fetus (Prolapsed Umbilical Cord). Proper prenatal care is required to deal with either of these conditions.
What to Expect if PPROM Takes Place
After a diagnosis of PPROM has been made, the obstetrician will usually admit the patient to the hospital for close monitoring, bed rest, and use of antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Corticosteroids may also be ordered in cases when PPROM occurs before 32-34 weeks’ gestation, as the risk of delivery within the next 7 days is high in such cases.
Legal Liability for PPROM Injuries
PPROM injuries to a fetus born (or stillborn) preterm may result, in some cases, from the negligence of a woman’s obstetrician or other medical personnel involved in her pregnancy care. Such injuries may also result from the negligent management of PPROM after it begins. Any such medical professional may be found liable for the injuries sustained by a fetus whose preterm birth results from PPROM if the negligence of those professionals is found to have been a cause of those injuries. In addition, the hospitals that employ medical professionals whose negligence is determined to have been a cause of such injuries may be found liable for those injuries in a medical malpractice action.
Negligence of Obstetrician during Pregnancy
Though PPROM may occur without the fault of an obstetrician or other healthcare provider, PPROM often results from the negligent care given to a patient during the patient’s pregnancy. PPROM is a recognized risk of certain conditions or complications that may occur during a woman’s pregnancy. Thus, if a woman’s obstetrician negligently fails to prevent such conditions or complications, or negligently fails to respond to and treat such complications, and PPROM is determined to have occurred as a result, the obstetrician may be found liable in an action for medical negligence for the injuries sustained by the fetus as a result.
Negligence during Labor or Delivery
When PPROM occurs, either as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence or otherwise, an obstetrician’s negligent management and treatment of the condition may be found to constitute a cause of injuries sustained by a fetus as a result of the PPROM. If, for example, the woman’s physician fails to prescribe medications to control the progress of PPROM or to take other measures to reduce the risk of injuries to the fetus resulting from a preterm delivery, the physician may be found liable in a medical malpractice action for any injuries sustained by the child as a result.
Damages in PPROM-injury Cases
The injuries sustained by a fetus as a result of PPROM may be catastrophic. Brain damages, organ damage, and complications due to a lack of full development of essential organs are among the many serious injuries that may result from preterm childbirth due to PPROM. In some case, death of the fetus may result, particularly if PPROM occurs at an exceptionally early stage in the mother’s pregnancy.
If your physician failed to diagnose your PPROM in a timely manner or negligently treated your PPROM and your baby sustained injuries as a result, contact birth-injury and PPROM-injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2827 or fill out and submit the email form below for experienced and compassionate assistance with your case.