In a normal pregnancy, a woman will first begin to experience contractions, and sometime later her amniotic sac will break open. According to WebMD.com, when a woman’s amniotic sac breaks open and begins to leak amniotic fluids before she begins to experience contractions, the condition is referred to as premature rupture of membranes (pROM.)
If a woman experiences pROM before she has reached her 37th week of pregnancy, it is likely that she will enter into preterm labor. A normal pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks. Medical professionals are trained to identify and handle cases of pROM, and must treat this serious condition quickly and skillfully in order to best ensure the health of the baby.
Premature Rupture of Membranes Risk Factors
The risk factors for premature rupture of membranes include:
- Previous cases of membrane rupture
- Uterine infection
- Trauma to the uterus
- Accumulation of too much amniotic fluid
- Vaginal bleeding
- Smoking during pregnancy
One of the major complications associated with pROM is premature labor and birth. Because a baby continues to develop in the womb until its day of birth, babies who are born prematurely may fail to develop sufficiently in order to live outside the mother’s body.
One of the primary treatments for women diagnosed with pROM is to give her medication called antenatal corticosteroid, which can help the baby’s lungs develop faster. This can be particularly important before the 34th week of pregnancy.
Other ways of treating pROM include:
- Observation of the mother’s and baby’s conditions
- Use of antibiotics to prevent infection
- Inducing labor
Premature Rupture of Membranes and Cerebral Palsy
Medical researchers have identified a strong correlation between premature birth and cerebral palsy. Though a causal connection has not been definitively established, it is nevertheless significant that approximately half of children who are eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy were born prematurely.
If you believe that your baby’s birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, were the result of undiagnosed, untreated, or improperly treated premature rupture of membranes – your attending medical personnel may have been responsible.
Contact an experienced birth injury attorney today to discuss the circumstances surrounding your pregnancy and birthing process, and to learn if you may be entitled to significant compensation.