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Birth Infections That Are Not Addressed Can Lead to Injury or Death

Posted on in Infections

Chicago birth injury attorney infections

For many expectant mothers, the fear of something going wrong during pregnancy or delivery can be daunting. Every expectant parent hopes that the child’s birth will go smoothly, and no issues will arise. Sadly, many births do involve dangerous complications that put both the mother's and the infant’s lives in danger. What is even more tragic is that some of these problems may have been prevented if medical staff took the appropriate steps to recognize and address the signs of distress. Infections are especially concerning complications that can develop during pregnancy and birth, and they can lead to serious injury or even death for the mother and/or the child.

Infections Passed from Expectant Mothers to Infants

When bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites spread through a person’s body, the result is an infection. Maternal infections can be especially problematic, because the infection may spread to the womb and infect the fetus. The bacterial infection chorioamnionitis can cause the fetal membranes to become dangerously inflamed. Toxoplasmosis, a condition caused by parasites that often live in cat feces, can also be passed from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy. Toxoplasmosis can cause life-altering consequences for an infant, including brain damage and blindness. Sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea can also put infants at risk. Some of the most common infections that infants develop during or shortly after birth include pneumonia, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and congenital rubella. Neonatal infections can cause the child to suffer from intellectual disabilities, congestive heart failure, disfigurement, hearing loss, and even stillbirth.

Determining Liability for Birth Infections

In some cases, there is nothing that can be done to prevent a maternal or fetal infection from affecting the health of the mother or her baby. However, in certain situations, the harm caused by an infection could have been avoided through competent medical care. When an obstetrician, nurse, or other healthcare professional does not take the necessary steps to prevent or address infections, the medical facility may be legally responsible for the harm caused. Medical malpractice claims may result from a healthcare professional’s failure to order the appropriate tests, monitor the mother and child for signs of infection, adequately sanitize equipment or hands, or properly treat an existing infection. If a mother or her child develops medical problems due to a healthcare professional’s negligence, she may be entitled to compensation.

Contact an Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Pregnancy, including labor and the birthing process, can pose certain risks to the mother and her infant. When doctors and other medical staff fail to properly address maternal or fetal infections, the results can be deadly. If you have reason to believe that medical negligence may have caused you or your child to suffer preventable harm from an infection, contact the Birth Injury Law Alliance. Schedule a free consultation with our dedicated Cook County birth injury attorneys by calling our office today at 312-945-1300.

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html
https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancy/conditioninfo/infections

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