A normal pregnancy lasts longer than 37 weeks. For some women, this isn't something that is going to happen. Instead, they have preterm premature rupture of the membranes, which means that the woman's water broke prior to 37 weeks gestation.
Once the amniotic sac breaks, there isn't any way to correct this issue. The woman must be closely monitored by medical professionals. In many cases, this requires her to be admitted into the hospital.
Most women with PPROM will have an ultrasound to determine how much amniotic fluid remains around the baby. Monitoring her for signs of an infection and signs of labor is imperative. Doctors will also monitor the baby to determine if the baby is stressed.
For many women, trying to stave off labor is a preferred course of action. These women might get corticosteroids to help the baby's lungs, tocolytic medications to help stop labor and antibiotics to prevent infection. If the woman is known to have an infection, antibiotic treatment is also necessary.
In the case of PPROM, the woman is likely going to be induced when she reaches 34 weeks. If the baby is breech, a c-section will likely be performed.
When PPROM isn't handled properly, the mother and baby are at risk. Not only do they both face the possibility of infection, they can die from this. The women who have to deal with improper management of this condition might choose to seek compensation for the damages she suffered. Unfortunately, this won't bring the mother or baby back if they die due to inadequate medical care.
Source: University of Rochester Medical Center, "Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM)," accessed Dec. 20, 2017