South Jersey Birth Injury Lawyers Discuss Prom

 A premature rupture of membranes (PROM) occurs when a woman’s water breaks more than one hour before the onset of labor. Although a woman’s “water breaking” is often the first indication that she is in labor, when doctors do not handle PROM correctly, it can lead to birth injuries.

Sometimes, PROM is “prolonged,” meaning that it occurs more than 18 hours before labor. The longer the time between when a woman’s membranes rupture and when she delivers her baby, the more likely that her pregnancy will be complicated by the risk of infection. Physicians have a duty to diagnose and treat PROM early to prevent harm to the patient and her unborn child. Failure to adhere to the reasonable standard care constitutes negligence and may be the basis of a lawsuit for medical malpractice.

Symptoms of PROM and PPROM

PPROM is when PROM occurs in conjunction with premature labor (before 37 weeks). Although pregnancy comes with many harmless symptoms, if you see any of the following signs, you should contact your OBGYN immediately as these may indicate that your membranes have ruptured early or that you have an infection:

  • Clear or pale yellow fluid leaking from the vagina
  • Tenderness of uterine area
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Contractions
  • Fever
  • Increased maternal or fetal heart rate

Causes of PROM

There is no clear scientific evidence as to what exactly causes PROM. Although it can occur naturally, it can also be triggered by excessive cervical exams performed by doctors late into a woman’s pregnancy. Some factors that tend to correlate with a higher incidence of PROM include:

  • A mother having preterm PROM in a prior pregnancy
  • Group B Strep
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Preterm labor in an earlier pregnancy
  • The mother is a smoker
  • Poor nutrition of the mother
  • Carrying multiples

Complications of PROM and PPROM

If PROM occurs, proper medical management must take place to prevent a birth injury. Common complications associated with PROM include:

  • Premature birth. This can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)
  • Umbilical cord prolapses.
  • Chorioamnionitis, an inflammation of the fetal membrane.
  • Microcephaly
  • Neonatal encephalopathy
  • Maternal infection. This can result in sepsis, meningitis, and cerebral palsy (CP) in the baby.
  • Seizure disorders
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Motor disorders
  • Developmental delays
  • Brain bleeds

Treating PROM

Proper treatment of PROM depends on when it is diagnosed. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may be given antibiotics, corticosteroids, labor may be medically induced, or a C-section may be recommended.

South Jersey Birth Injury Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Are Committed to Fighting for Victims of Birth Injury

When a mother suffers from PROM, physicians have a duty to closely monitor both the mother and her unborn child. If your doctor or someone on their team failed to adhere to the standard of care, they may be liable for malpractice. The South Jersey birth injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices will help you hold responsible parties accountable and recover the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation, call us at 856-354-9444 or contact us online today. With offices conveniently located in Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, we represent clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.