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Premature infants at higher risk for brain injuries

Typically, a pregnancy is around nine months in duration. However, sometimes a baby will be delivered early. While generally infants born prematurely survive, they can face an increased risk of experiencing certain complications. And unfortunately, these complications can include brain injuries.

Often, brain injuries are due to a lack of oxygen. According to the chief of neonatology at a California university, if a baby's brain does not receive enough oxygen, it can cause damage to the brain's white matter. White matter serves to communicate signals through the brain and out to the baby's body.

The reason premature babies sometimes have trouble getting enough oxygen to their brains is because their lungs have not yet fully developed. This is especially true for babies delivered at six months or earlier. A premature baby may have trouble getting enough oxygen even if his or her breathing is assisted by a mechanical device.

Of course, it is best if a baby is able to fully develop prior to being born, but this does not always happen. As such, it has been suggested by studies that it is extremely important for proper actions to be taken immediately following the birth. This would mean that once a premature baby is born, it is critical to maintain a healthy flow of oxygen to his or her brain.

Certainly a premature birth can present challenges to a doctor and delivery room staff, but these medical professionals owe a duty of care to every patient they treat. Therefore, when a baby is delivered, everyone responsible must be prepared to respond to that baby's medical needs. Should a baby be injured due to a mistake on behalf of a doctor or staff member, they may be held liable for negligence.

If you believe your child suffered a brain injury due to negligent care, you may wish to meet with an Arizona medical malpractice attorney to discuss the situation.

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