When Massachusetts parents are preparing to have a baby in Boston, they are preparing the baby’s room, thinking about how to have everything ready in time and anticipating the celebration. This can all be destroyed if there is an issue that leads to a premature birth. This can have numerous consequences for the child that can be a lifelong issue with the accompanying medical expenses. It is important for parents who have had a child prematurely to understand the consequences and learn of any mistakes on the part of the medical staff at some point that led to it.

If a baby is born at least three weeks before the scheduled due date, it is a premature birth. A baby born early is likely to have health issues and need long-term care. These occurrences are relatively rare, but there is a high rate of death when a baby is born prematurely. The earlier the birth, the more likely the problems. Even babies who are born prematurely and survive are at risk.

Some health issues common with premature birth are being intellectually disabled, cerebral palsy, respiratory and breathing disorders and vision and hearing loss. There are common risk factors for premature birth. African American women have a 60 percent higher frequency or premature birth in comparison to Caucasian women. Risk factors include multiple births, issues with the cervix or uterus, diabetes or other health issues in the mother, infections suffered while pregnant, smoking using drugs and drinking alcohol.

Another problem that is often overlooked and must be considered is a doctor’s mistake. Perhaps there was a belief that the birth had to be induced early and that decision turned out to be for an erroneous reason. Medical professionals are not perfect, and there is a chance that the premature birth came about through medical error. It is imperative that the records be studied by a legal professional experienced in injuries suffered at birth and medical mistakes to determine whether or not litigation to compensate the parents is applicable.

Source: CDC.gov, “What is Premature Birth?,” accessed on Dec. 28, 2014