Understanding What a Low Birth Weight Baby is and What it Means For Your Medical Care
While most babies are born healthy, there are some babies that experience complications. Complications can occur at birth, or while in utero. Some complications are unpredictable, meaning the physician cannot for see the complication that occurs. Other times, there are complications that could have been prevented or treated while in utero or prior to delivery. One example of this is a low birth weight baby. While not all babies born with low birth weights are at the fault of the physician (i.e. a baby born prematurely without warning), there are instances in which babies are born with a low birth weight due to avoidable circumstances, putting them at risk for complications. This could mean medical malpractice in Portland, OR.
What is a Low Birth Weight Baby?
A baby is considered to have a low birth weight if they weight under 5 pounds, 8 ounces according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. There are additional sub-classifications in regard to babies with low birth weight, including the following:
- Low birth weight – weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces at birth
- Very low birth weight – weighing less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces at birth
- Extremely low birth weight – weighing less than 2 pounds, 3 ounces at birth
What Are the Causes of a Low Birth Weight Baby?
There are many different causes of low birth weight, but the most common causes are intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and premature birth. A baby is considered to be premature if they are born before 37 weeks of age. Intrauterine growth restriction occurs when a baby is unable to gain weight during pregnancy, due to many factors including poor nutrition, birth defects, problems with the placenta, hypertension (maternal), gestational diabetes, and infections.
- Multiple pregnancy
- Placental problems
- Alcohol, smoking or drug use
- Insufficient weight gain (maternal)
- Maternal infection
- Problems with the cervix
- Previous low birth weight pregnancy
- Respiratory Distress Syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain hemorrhage
- Feeding problems
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Feeding difficulties
How Can a Low Birth Weight Baby and Complications Be Caused by Oregon Medical Malpractice?
Inadequate prenatal care can lead to low birth weight in an infant. This is due to a patient not receiving guidance in regard to dietary recommendations, use of prenatal vitamins, avoiding drugs and alcohol, etc. Failing to identify problems in utero that can lead to low birth weight (i.e. placental problems, infection, insufficient maternal weight gain, etc.). This can lead to birth injuries in Oregon.
Doctors should be monitoring the growth of the fetus throughout the pregnancy, providing opportunity to intervene if the baby is not growing appropriately. Some of these problems can be treated while in utero to avoid delivery of a low birth weight baby. Additionally, if the baby’s care is mismanaged after delivery, this is also considered to be medical malpractice. It is vital for babies with low birth weight to be managed appropriately to prevent additional complications from occurring.
If You Had a Low Birth Weight Baby, Ask Us For Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.