Pregnant women and their unborn children are particularly susceptible to infection during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Many infections can be passed on to the unborn baby and can cause serious, lifelong medical problems if not properly treated. Timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious harm. However, when doctors fail to recognize symptoms and begin antibiotics, the results can be devastating.
If you suspect that your physician missed an early opportunity to treat Group B Strep or another infection, you may have a lawsuit if the medical negligence caused serious or permanent injury to your baby. Contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation. The Becker Law Firm is a successful birth injury practice with an impressive record of verdicts and settlements in birth injury claims, including those involving undiagnosed and or improperly treated infections. From offices in Cleveland and Elyria, we represent clients in Columbus and throughout Ohio, as well as in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Discuss your case with one of our infection birth injury lawyers in Ohio; call (440) 252-4399 or fill out and submit an online contact form for a free consultation.
Common Types of Infections During Labor and Delivery
- Group B Streptococcus: Group B Strep is a type of bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, endomyometritis, premature delivery, premature rupture of membranes (ROM), and chorioamnionitis. It is also related to neonatal sepsis, which can affect between two and three out of every 1,000 babies. It is the leading cause of infection in newborn babies. Depending on the age of the baby, the mortality rate is between five and 50%. It can also cause mental retardation, blindness, hearing problems, seizures, and developmental delays. A simple test can diagnose Group B Strep, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that these tests be done between 35 and 37 weeks. When diagnosed, the baby can be expertly monitored and antibiotics can prevent injury. Read on to learn more.
- Chorioamnionitis: Chorioamnionitis is an infection specific to pregnancy. It affects the membranes and the amniotic fluid around the baby and sometimes causes preterm rupture of membranes (ROM). It can also lead to neonatal sepsis, which is frequently fatal for babies. Doctors should look for chorioamnionitis when the mother shows signs of fever, elevated white blood count, uterine tenderness, and when the baby’s heart rate is extremely fast. Diagnosis is best accomplished with amniocentesis. Treatment often depends on how close the baby is to full term—if the baby is viable, a cesarean section should be considered. If not, treatment may include intravenous antibiotics.
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV): An infection in the mother, it can transfer to the unborn baby approximately 1% of the time. Those babies who are born with symptoms of CMV can show jaundice, liver issues (hepatomegaly), issues with the spleen (splenomegaly) and other problems. Whether symptomatic or not, this infection can cause mental retardation, sensorineural hearing loss, neuromuscular disorders or even death. There is no known treatment.
Other fairly common pregnancy infections can include:
- Herpes Simplex
- Hepatitis B
- Yeast infections
- Urinary tract infections
Group B Strep
Group B streptococcus is a dangerous bacteria that can be transmitted to the fetus by a pregnant woman who is infected. If untreated or treated too late, it can cause life-threatening illness in the fetus or newborn, including meningitis, encephalitis, pneumonia, sepsis (blood-borne infection) and septic shock.
Group B strep (GBS) is usually seen late in the third trimester of pregnancy. A routine screening between the 35th and 37th weeks should discover the presence of GBS. If antibiotics are administered during labor, the threat is neutralized.
Why Contact a Birth Injury Attorney?
The Becker Law Firm has held obstetricians, family physicians, and hospital labs accountable for failure to screen, recognize, and/or treat for GBS infection and other infections in late pregnancy.
We have also held these parties responsible for failure to recognize and treat the complications of Group B strep such as:
- Premature labor
- Premature rupture of membranes (water sac)
- Urinary tract infection
- Fever during labor
- Fetal distress
During your free initial consultation, our Ohio birth injury attorneys and medically trained staff can help determine if you have a malpractice claim relating to pregnancy infection.
Contact us today at (440) 252-4399. We fight for full justice.