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New YouTube video targets premature delivery awareness

The audience for reality television seems to get larger with each passing year. Perhaps in acknowledgment of that trend, the March of Dimes has adapted its public service advertising campaign to raise awareness of preterm complications and premature delivery by using a new technology: a YouTube video release. The video depicts still photos of a clothed mother, dressed in black jeans and a turquoise tank top, throughout the 9 months of her pregnancy.

A premature delivery can occur at any time between 26 weeks and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Some research suggests that babies aren't fully developed until at least 39 weeks, and that significant infant brain and lung development occurs even during the last few weeks of pregnancy. As a result, babies born even a few weeks early in hospitals in Oregon and across the country might potentially face complications.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, about half a million babies annually are born too soon in the United States, with preterm birth being the leading cause of newborn death. Babies that do survive an early birth often have health challenges that may include breathing problems, cerebral palsy or intellectual disabilities.

During your pregnancy, you have a right to expect your doctor to perform routine screenings, as necessary, to identify any potential complications. Such prenatal care can ensure that you and your baby are healthy and that any identified problems are treated early. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others, possibly helping to avoid premature delivery.

If you suspect that your child's premature delivery was caused by negligence on the part of an Oregon physician, you may be able to recover financial damages for your child by bringing a medical malpractice suit. An attorney can walk you through the necessary steps.

Source: New York Times, "A 'Real' Video Helps Fight Against Premature Births," Jen L. Levere, June 25, 2012

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