In the womb, a baby floats in fluid. That fluid, known as amniotic fluid, is almost constantly swallowed and urinated by the fetus. The fluid aids nutrition and also provides the fetus with some protection from force applied to a pregnant mother's abdomen. As a fetus grows, the volume of amniotic fluid should also increase. At 34 weeks of gestation, the fluid reaches its highest level. When a pregnant mother goes into labor, her membranes will rupture (either spontaneously or with assistance from a doctor). At that time, some of the amniotic fluid drains from the womb. In most cases, all fluid does not drain until after the baby is born.
Polyhydramnios is a condition where there is too much amniotic fluid in the womb. It affects .5% to 5% of pregnancies. Adequacy of amniotic fluid is measured on an Amniotic Fluid Index ("AFI"). Polyhydramnions is usually marked by an AFI fuid level of more than 25 centimeters, a single deep pocket greater than 8 centimeters, or a total fluid level greater than 2000 mL. Too much amniotic fluid can be a sign of problems for the mother and baby, including:
- congenital defects;
- maternal diabetes;
- premature rupture of membranes;
- preterm labor;
- placental abruption; and
- intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
Most cases of polyhydramnios, if timely diagnosed, are easily treated with medication to decrease amniotic fluid, or by amnioreduction. The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases, including the failure to closely follow amniotic fluid levels. If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now
at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.