Water Breaking Too Early
Every mother hopes for a smooth pregnancy and delivery, that way when it’s all over a growing family gets to bring home a healthy baby. Unfortunately, there are many possible complications during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. One possible complication occurs when a mother’s water breaks too early, which can be dangerous for both mother and child. Although this circumstance is sometimes unavoidable, it can also be caused by a doctor’s negligence. If you or your child has been harmed by a doctor’s mistake in this way, continue reading to learn more or call our offices to speak to an experienced Illinois malpractice attorneys.
Premature Rupture of Membranes
The event of a pregnant woman’s water breaking early is called a premature rupture of membranes, or PROM. It means that the water has broken sometime after 37 weeks gestation, but more than one hour prior to the onset of labor. Preterm premature rapture of membranes, or PPROM, is when the water breaks before 37 weeks gestation. PPROM is the number one identifiable factor leading to premature delivery, and prematurity results in 85% of neonatal morbidity and mortality. The “water breaking” is the rupture of the amniotic sac, it contains amniotic fluids that surround and protect a growing fetus in the womb.
Complications of PROM and PPROM
PROM and PPROM can bring a number of complications that can have serious consequences for both mother and child. Complications may include premature delivery, which can be dangerous or even deadly for a baby, heightened infection risk for both mother and baby, loss of nutrients to the baby, fetal distress, and umbilical cord complications.
Causes of PROM
Although PROM can occur naturally, it can also be caused by medical malpractice. Some examples of a doctor’s negligence that can trigger premature rupture of membranes are frequent and unnecessary exams late in pregnancy, or exams after rupture that could heighten risk of infection.
After ROM occurs, your doctor only has a small window of opportunity to deliver the child before injury can result. If a doctor fails to react in a timely and effective manner to rupture of membranes, and injury results, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice.
Your doctor owes you a certain standard of care. Essentially, he or she must provide treatment that most other doctors would under similar circumstances. If a doctor breaches this duty by negligently causing or reacting to PPROM, PROM, or ROM, he or she may be liable for damages.
If you or your child has been harmed by a doctor’s negligence, an experienced medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. A medical malpractice attorney will find an expert to testify to the appropriate standard of care, interview your treating physician and any other potential witnesses, and thoroughly investigate your medical records in order to help build your case. There are many legal complexities involved with pursuing a medical malpractice claim that only an experienced professional can help you navigate. Please contact our offices at to speak to an Illinois medical malpractice attorney today.