Within a few weeks of becoming pregnant, your body started making amniotic fluid to protect your child. The amniotic fluid should have continued to surround your baby until you went into labor and your water broke. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened and you suffered from preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) before you started labor and before you reached your 37th week of pregnancy.
This put your baby at risk—particularly if your doctor did not diagnose and treat the condition appropriately.
The Dangers of Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes
PPROM does not always result in a baby’s injury. However, if the baby is significantly premature or if the doctor fails to diagnose or treat the problem, the baby could suffer a significant injury such as:
- Infection. Infections such as chorioamnionitis, sepsis, and meningitis can affect both mother and baby.
- Umbilical cord complication. Without amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord may flatten. Umbilical cord prolapse and other forms of umbilical cord compression can occur and can deprive the baby of oxygen resulting in serious injury.
- Respiratory crisis. PRROM may result in an early, or premature, delivery. The baby’s lungs may not be fully developed and the baby may not be able to breathe independently.
The long term prognosis for your baby depends on the exact complications that were suffered, your child’s gestational age, and the quality of care that you and your baby received.
Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of PPROM
PPROM is typically a concern when the mother has one of the following:
- An infection
- A previous cervical surgery
- Too much amniotic fluid
- Multiple babies during this pregnancy or during a previous pregnancy (twins, triplets etc.)
The most common sign of PPROM is clear or light yellow discharge that is steady or that is significant in amount. If this happens, you should get immediate medical attention. A doctor can look to see where the fluid is coming from and can test the discharge to determine whether or not it is amniotic fluid.
When Is PPROM a Birth Injury?
PRROM is a birth injury if your doctor failed to exercise reasonable care in diagnosing and treating your condition. There are many variables that influence what your doctor should have done. However, in all cases your doctor owed you a duty of care and should have taken reasonable steps to protect you and your child from injury. These steps may have included:
- Having an ultrasound done to determine how much amniotic fluid was left
- Regularly monitoring the amount of fluid to determine if action should be taken
- Providing antibiotics to prevent infection from spreading to your baby
- Performing a C-section delivery
Additionally, the hospital and your baby’s pediatrician should take extra steps to monitor your child after delivery, to treat any sign of infection, and to provide respiratory assistance, if necessary.
Protect Your Baby After a PPROM Birth Injury
We want you to know exactly what caused your baby’s injuries and whether the doctor or hospital who was treating you could have been responsible for your injury. Our staff nurse will talk to you, review your medical records, and gather other necessary evidence so that you have a full understanding of what happened. Our experienced Kentucky birth injury lawyers will review your case and determine whether the actions, or inactions, of the doctor or hospital caused your baby’s injuries.
If a doctor or hospital was responsible for your child’s injuries, we will fight hard to make sure that your child makes a fair recovery. That recovery should include compensation for your child’s past, current, and future medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages. To learn more, please download a FREE copy of our report, Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury to Your Child Happens in Kentucky, and call us anytime – 24/7/365 – to schedule a free and confidential consultation.