Preterm births create serious risks for some infants, but can they be prevented in New York?

Over the past three decades, the rate of premature births has risen at a time when obstetrical care has advanced. Prematurity is one of the leading causes of lifelong disability and infant death. Now, researchers believe that they may have uncovered one potential cause of prematurity and are urging that all pregnant women be screened accordingly.

Cervical Length Screenings and Progesterone Therapy May Prevent Premature Births

The study, published in the July 2011 journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women with a shortened cervix were more likely to have premature babies. A shortened cervix could be diagnosed through a five-minute vaginal ultrasound sometime in the middle of pregnancy. Women who are found to have a shortened cervix can be treated with progesterone to improve their chances of having a full term baby born between 38 and 41 weeks.

Will Cervical Length Screenings and Progesterone Therapy Become the New Standard of Care?

Guidelines regarding cervical length screening and progesterone therapy have been drafted and are currently being reviewed by the The American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

From a parent's perspective, it is easy to see the benefits of cervical length screening and progesterone therapy, but the medical community is unlikely to make it standard unless it is cost effective. Researchers at Yale University have found that if the guidelines were put into place, approximately 10,000 fewer children would be born before 34 weeks of pregnancy each year. That would save an approximate $760 million a year.

When to Contact a New York Birth Injury Lawyer

If your doctor's failure to exercise reasonable care led to your child's premature birth injuries, then your family may have the right to recover damages. Please contact an experienced New York birth injury attorney today at 1-800-PAGAN-911 for more information. Our New York birth injury lawyers are compassionate and committed to fighting for your family's just recovery.