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The Risks and Dangers of Undiagnosed Maternal Infections

Maternal infection is any infection in a pregnant woman that can spread through the blood, placenta, or birth canal during pregnancy or childbirth. If left untreated, such an infection can result in serious, even long-term, injuries and disabilities for the baby.  Therefore, discovering a maternal infection early on and treating it is very important. If a doctor does not test for and treat infections, they may be held legally responsible for a child’s birth injury. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help you collect the compensation you deserve.  We help clients throughout Upstate New York, with offices in multiple convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the medical malpractice field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients.

When certain maternal infections go undiagnosed or untreated, they can endanger the unborn child. Here are a few of the most common:

Chickenpox, also known as varicella, can cause serious health problems in babies under the age of a year. Pneumonia, vision problems, congenital varicella syndrome, developmental delays, scarring, and cognitive disabilities are examples of these issues.  According to the Organization for Teratology Information Service (OTIS), the risk of birth injury is 0.5 to 1% when chickenpox occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy. The risk increases with the length of the pregnancy.

Rubella, also known as German Measles, can cause vision and hearing problems, congenital heart disease, intrauterine growth restriction, brain inflammation, miscarriage, stillbirth, and eventually diabetes if contracted by an infant.

Chorioamnionitis, also known as intra-amniotic infection, is an infection or inflammation of the fetal membranes that can result in birth injuries like meningitis, sepsis, premature rupture of membranes, preterm birth, and villitis.

GBS (Group B streptococcus) is found in approximately 25% of pregnant women. It is a bacterium that is commonly found in the intestines and the genital tract. If the baby becomes infected, he or she may develop brain damage, seizures, cerebral palsy, premature birth, meningitis, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and sepsis.

Through sores in the placenta, syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease can be transmitted to the infant during pregnancy or the birthing process. If the infant becomes infected, he or she may develop neurological problems, fetal distress, hearing loss, vision loss, tooth malformations, low birth weight, stillbirth, or neonatal death.

An unborn child who has toxoplasmosis, a parasite infection, is at risk of hearing loss, intellectual disabilities, and blindness.

During birth, babies are at risk of contracting the hepatitis B virus (HBV). If this happens, the infected newborn has a 9 out of 10 chance of developing long-term health problems, such as liver damage and liver cancer.

If left untreated, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a type of common bacterial infection of the vagina that can result in premature membrane rupture, premature birth, and brain damage in the infant.

Villitis, which is caused by an inflamed chorionic villi surface of the placenta includes intrauterine growth restriction, premature rupture of membranes, preterm birth, brain damage, cerebral palsy, meningitis, sepsis, and death.

UTIs are infections of the urinary tract that can cause problems with the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. It can cause severe and long-term birth injuries such as intrauterine infection, premature birth, and neonatal infection if left untreated. Low birth weight, intrauterine growth restriction, chorioamnionitis, preeclampsia, anemia, and fetal death are all possible outcomes.

If your baby was injured during birth because of medical negligence or malpractice, the consequences can be devastating both personally and financially. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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