Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Helping patients obtain maximum compensation after a maternal infection due to negligence
Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, many women suffer dangerous infections while pregnant, often causing permanent injury or death to the baby. At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys are highly skilled in handling birth injury cases, including maternal infection claims. With more than forty years of combined experience, we do not back down from insurance companies. We fight to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Harmful maternal infections
It is not unusual for a pregnant woman to suffer from minor illnesses and infections during pregnancy. However, some infections may become severe if they are not properly treated. These include:
- Chorioamnionitis: Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the fetal membranes (the membranes that surround the fetus). It usually is caused by bacteria moving from the vagina into the uterus. If left untreated, it can cause infection of both the mother and the baby. Such infections can lead to dangerous meningitis or respiratory problems in the baby and to deadly infection in the mother.
- Urinary tract infections: Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, occur when the urinary tract becomes inflamed due to microorganisms. If left untreated, these infections can spread to the kidneys, which may lead to early labor and low birth weight.
- Group B streptococcus: Group B streptococcus, or GBS, is a bacterial infection detected in a woman’s vagina or rectum during pregnancy. It is usually found in about one-quarter of all healthy women. This infection can be passed to the baby, which can cause major complications, including sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis. Antibiotics are used to prevent the transmission of GBS from a mother to her baby. These antibiotics must be given to the mother during labor.
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B can be passed from a mother to her baby. All pregnant women should be tested for this condition. If a pregnant woman tests positive for hepatitis B, two shots can be given to a newborn to significantly reduce the chances of a lifelong infection. Hepatitis B is a liver infection that can become chronic and can result in liver failure.
- HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be transmitted to a baby from its mother through pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding. With proper treatment during pregnancy, the risk of transmitting the disease to a newborn can be as low as 2 percent. HIV can develop into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can make individuals more susceptible to certain diseases, many of which are fatal.
- Rubella (German measles): Rubella is an infection that, in about half of those infected, causes mild flu-like symptoms and a rash. Rubella can be extremely harmful to a fetus. Fortunately, vaccinations have largely eliminated rubella. However, for women who were never vaccinated, they may be at risk of contracting the disease. Rubella can cause birth defects, miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth.
Pregnant women and their unborn children may suffer harm if doctors do not take proper precautions against infections
During pregnancy, it is recommended that women undergo a series of tests to determine if certain infections are present. If a woman tests positive for any of these infections, her doctor should recommend a treatment regimen to reduce the risk of transmission to the baby. However, in some cases, women are never tested for certain diseases and infections, or proper treatment is not administered, causing harm to the mother or to the baby.
Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional breaches a duty to a patient by failing to meet the proper standard of care. All doctors are required to act reasonably under the circumstances that are presented. Failure to do so is a “breach” of the “standard of care.” Failing to properly diagnose or treat a disease during pregnancy that later causes infant injury or death often falls under this category and constitutes medical negligence.
If you or your baby suffered injury due to an infection during pregnancy, you must act quickly
There are complicated rules governing the deadlines by which a claim for medical negligence must be filed. Our Cleveland birth injury attorneys are prepared to evaluate your case during a free initial consultation. To schedule your free consultation, call The Eisen Law Firm at 216-687-0900 or contact our skilled attorneys online.