Florida Prolonged Rupture of Membranes Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
The classic beginning of a woman going into labor as portrayed on television, in the movies, and in books, is when her “water breaks.” The medical term is the “rupture of the membranes.” In reality, many women go into labor before their water breaks. However, if a woman is not already in in labor and already in the hospital when this happens, she needs to get there as soon as possible.
If too much time elapses between the rupture of the membranes and the start of labor, problems can occur. There is a risk the baby will suffer a birth injury that could have long-lasting effects on his or her health and well-being. Too often, these birth injuries could have been prevented had the health care professionals responsible for the medical care of the mother and baby provided appropriate care.
If your child was injured during the birth process due to negligent health care, the birth injury medical malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you hold the negligent health care provider(s) liable for their negligence and the harm it caused. We are committed to obtaining justice for victims of preventable birth injuries and want to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Who is at Risk for a Prolonged Rupture of Membranes?
A prolonged rupture of membranes may happen to any woman, but the following are risk factors that require careful prenatal monitoring to prevent premature rupture of membranes which can lead to problems:
- Women who do not get proper prenatal care
- Women who smoke during their pregnancy
- A previous history of a miscarriage or premature birth
- A pregnant woman with a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia or gonorrhea
- Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
- Bacterial infection like vaginosis
- Placental abruption.
How Should the Medical Team Respond to Prolonged Rupture of Membranes?
The standard of care for a mother and baby when the membranes rupture depends on the stage of the pregnancy:
- If the membranes rupture after 37 weeks of pregnancy, and labor does not naturally begin within 18 to 24 hours, labor should be induced or a cesarean section performed. The medical team should not allow a prolonged rupture of membranes to continue.
- If the membranes rupture before 37 weeks of pregnancy, the medical response depends upon the stage of gestation. If very early on, the mother may be required to maintain bed rest with medications given to help speed up the maturity of the baby’s lungs and other organs so the baby has a better chance of surviving a premature birth.
What are the Risks of Prolonged Rupture of Membranes?
When the membranes rupture, amniotic fluid is lost. This is the fluid that cushions the baby inside the uterus. It assists the maturing of the lungs and digestive system. Risks to the baby include, but are not limited to:
- Undeveloped lungs and digestive system, since the amniotic fluid assists in these processes. Immediate medical treatment is required upon birth and the baby’s organs may be too immature for the baby to survive.
- Cessation of the growth of the baby.
- The baby’s head or other body part pressing against the umbilical cord. This can result in decreasing or cutting off the oxygen supply to the baby’s brain. The result may be a baby who suffers from a brain injury, such as cerebral palsy, developmental and cognitive delays, or even death.
- The baby being born with an infection. If the infection is not promptly diagnosed, treated and carefully monitored, the baby could develop sepsis leading to organ failure and death.
How Do We Prove Medical Malpractice Caused Our Child’s Injury Due to a Prolonged Rupture of Membranes?
Not all birth injuries resulting from the prolonged rupture of membranes are due to medical negligence, but many are. If you can demonstrate the following elements, you may be entitled to file a Florida medical malpractice claim for compensation for your baby’s birth injury:
- The medical providers with whom you had a professional relationship, and who were involved in the treatment or lack of treatment of you and your baby, had a duty to provide you with the appropriate standard of care accepted by reasonably prudent health care providers of the same area of medicine.
- The medical professionals failed to uphold (breached) their duty of care.
- The breach of the duty to provide you the acceptable standard of care was the cause of the injury to your baby.
- You and your baby suffered damages that were caused by the breach of the health care professionals’ duty.
In this context, health care professionals refers to any medical provider who cared for you and your baby in any way, such as doctors, nurses, nurses’ aides, midwives, technicians, the hospital, and any other professional healthcare provider involved in the birth of your baby.
What Damages Can Be Recovered (Compensated) with a Florida Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
If your attorney can demonstrate that medical malpractice caused your baby’s birth injuries, you are entitled to be compensated for your losses under Florida law. This includes economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses. All current and future medical expenses. Depending on the extent of your baby’s injuries, he or she may need lifelong medical care, possibly even round-the-clock care.
- Costs of therapy and special devices. If your child suffers from paralysis or cognitive or developmental delays, you are entitled to the costs of needed therapy or any special devices that may be used to help your child live as normal a life as possible.
- Your time off work. You are entitled to be compensated for the time you must miss from work in order to take care of your injured child.
- Pain and suffering. You and your baby may both collect for this damage, since your baby suffers pain as do you in watching your child suffer.
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law.
Get Help from Experienced, Trusted Florida Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The Birth injury medical malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger are committed to securing justice for clients who have suffered from birth injuries due to medical malpractice. We have a long record of successful birth injury medical malpractice cases and want to ensure that your baby’s lifetime needs are met and you are compensated fully and fairly for the damages you and your child have suffered.
Other attorneys in Florida and throughout the U.S. trust us to investigate and handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If your child was injured due to medical negligence, you too can trust us to provide the superior legal representation you want.
Florida has a statute of limitations, which means you only have a limited time to file your medical malpractice claim after you discover your baby was injured. If you miss the filing deadline, there is no way to ever bring your claim. Please call us at 855.292.2111 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website to prevent missing the deadline.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (2021). Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) /Premature preterm rupture of membranes.
Medscape. (1994-2021). Neonatal sepsis clinical presentation.