Newborn infants are among the most fragile of us. Premature newborns require extra-special care because their immune systems are less developed and consequently more susceptible to infections. The risks to premature babies’ health are why hospitals go to great lengths to keep them safe in sterile environments.
A full-term delivery occurs after 40 weeks and doctors consider a newborn premature if delivered at 37 weeks or sooner. Approximately 1-in-10 babies born in the U.S. are premature. Premature births may not be commonplace, but they are far from rare and delivery facilities should understand best care practices for premature babies.
When hospitals don’t meet the standard of care
One Pennsylvania hospital is searching for answers to how eight premature babies contracted a waterborne bacterial infection. Four infants have recovered, and one is on antibiotics, but three have tragically died from the infection. A doctor at the hospital believes that the vulnerability of the deceased newborns was a contributing factor in their deaths.
The hospital is now sending babies born at 32 weeks and earlier, as well as other premature deliveries to surrounding medical facilities until state and federal investigators can confirm the bacteria is no longer present.
How families can fight back
You place a great deal of trust in the hospital you choose to have your child delivered in. This is especially true if your child is born prematurely. A health care facility must follow all policy and procedures in place to keep these newborns on the track to a healthy life.
When hospitals fail to meet these standards, you need an experienced and compassionate advocate who will aggressively pursue justice for you and your family. Doctors and nurses have a duty of care to you and your premature baby and you may be able to receive damages for their negligence.