Proper prenatal care is essential to the health of both an expectant mother and her child. Health problems such as maternal infections can be especially dangerous, which is why pregnant women count on OB/GYNs and other health care providers to diagnose and treat these conditions in a timely manner.
Left undetected and untreated, the following maternal infections can not only harm the mother, but also lead to birth injuries for the infant:
- Rubella. Also known as German measles, rubella is a virus that can cause headache, fever, swollen lymph nodes, a unique red rash, and other symptoms in the mother. Untreated, rubella may lead to miscarriage and stillbirth, as well as birth injuries such as congenital heart disease, cerebral palsy, and hearing and vision problems.
- Group B Strep (GBS). A bacterial infection found in the gastrointestinal, vaginal, or rectal area, GBS affects an estimated 25 percent of women. If left untreated, pregnant women can pass the infection to their child, leading to birth injuries like pneumonia, sepsis, brain injuries and stillbirth.
- Sexually transmitted diseases. Infants can contract syphilis, herpes, and other sexually transmitted diseases and infections during a vaginal birth. Additionally, if STDs and STIs aren't detected and treated early in the pregnancy, the unborn child may develop hearing and vision loss, neurological issues, brain damage, breathing problems, and other complications.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI). Characterized by painful urination and a frequent urge to “go,” untreated UTIs can lead to kidney infections, organ damage, intrauterine infections, and other health issues for the mother, including preterm labor. In a developing infant, untreated UTIs can cause low birth weight, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), cerebral palsy, chorioamnionitis, premature birth, and death.
- Hepatitis B. This virus can be passed from mother to child, leading to lifelong health issues, such as liver damage and liver cancer.
Consult an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer
Not all birth defects or injuries are caused by medical malpractice, but if your doctor or another medical professional deviated from the accepted standard of care, resulting in injury to your infant, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice birth injury claim.
Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your case with our knowledgeable birth injury attorneys.