Often injuries that occur during labor or delivery will heal with time and proper treatment. However, if birth injuries are ignored or if they are very serious, complications can arise that will affect your child’s physical and/or cognitive development.
First, a mother’s infections, if untreated, can jeopardize her child’s health. Therefore, it’s important for expectant mothers to receive prenatal care and take the steps necessary to avoid contracting infections that could harm their babies. If prenatal healthcare providers do not warn their patients about the dangers of contracting certain infections or do not adequately treat them for existing conditions that do affect their baby, the healthcare providers should be held responsible for negligence. The most common maternal infections that can affect infants are Rubella, Chicken Pox, Group B Strep, Syphilis, Toxoplasmosis, and Hepatitis B Virus.
Newborn Jaundice Misdiagnosis
Although common and treatable, newborn jaundice can cause serious complications if ignored. A misdiagnosis or failure to treat severe cases of jaundice can result in lifelong medical problems, developmental delays, or even death. Lacerations that occur during cesarean section deliveries are also usually minor, healing quickly after minimal treatment is implemented. However, if fetal lacerations are deep, measures must be taken to prevent infection, which could be serious in a newborn.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
Hypertension can also affect newborns. Pulmonary hypertension is a complication related to the heart, lungs, and blood pressure. When it occurs in newborns, it is referred to as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN occurs when blood does not flow adequately to the lungs of the newborn. It can be a very serious condition that could result in lifelong damage for the newborn or even death.
Infant brain Ischemia
Similarly, strokes can occur in children of all ages, even while they are still in the womb. When there is insufficient blood flow to the brain of an infant, it is a condition known as infant brain ischemia. Blood carries oxygen as well as other vital nutrients to the cells and organs of the body, including the brain. A child can suffer from developmental delays and improper organ function. If the ischemic condition lasts for too long, the brain may become permanently damaged and the child may suffer a stroke.
If your child has complications due to trauma or injury that occurred during labor and delivery, getting medical attention is extremely important. Consulting with experienced birth injury lawyers to see if you have a medical malpractice case is also important for your family’s future well-being.
A mother’s infections, if untreated, can jeopardize her child’s health. Therefore, it’s important for expectant mothers to receive prenatal care and take the steps necessary to avoid contracting infections that could harm their babies. If prenatal healthcare providers do not warn their patients about the dangers of contracting certain infections or do not adequately treat them for existing conditions that do affect their baby, the healthcare providers should be held responsible for negligence. The most common maternal infections that can affect infants are Rubella, Chicken Pox, Group B Strep, Syphilis, Toxoplasmosis, and Hepatitis B Virus.
If an infant contracts rubella from her mother, she can experience serious health issues, including hearing and vision problems, brain inflammation, cerebral palsy, congenital heart disease, diabetes, or stillbirth. That’s why pregnant women should be tested for rubella early during their pregnancies to make sure they were vaccinated and are immune to the virus. Expectant mothers who have not been vaccinated previously can be vaccinated early in their pregnancy.
If an expectant mother contracts chicken pox after the first trimester of pregnancy, the infection can result in serious health issues for her baby, including Congenital Varicella Syndrome, pneumonia, scarring, vision issues, developmental delays, and cognitive disabilities. Pregnant women who have not been vaccinated against chicken pox should tell their physicians so they can get the proper treatment if they are exposed to someone who has chicken pox.
Group B Strep
Group B Strep is a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal, vaginal, and/or rectal area. If not treated properly, it can be passed on to the baby and cause complications and even death. Since Group B Strep GBS is difficult to detect, it’s important for physicians to test and treat expectant mothers as soon as possible.
Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease that can be passed to a baby during the pregnancy or during labor and delivery. When passed to a baby, the infection is very dangerous, resulting in fetal distress, vision and hearing impairment, neurological complications, and death. Because of the serious effects, pregnant women should be tested for syphilis early in their pregnancy.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection usually caused by parasites in certain raw or under-cooked meats, cat stools, and soil. While pregnant women might not experience any symptoms, the toxoplasmosis can be passed on to the fetus, leading to hearing loss, blindness, and cognitive disabilities. It is, therefore, very important for pregnant women to take precautions when cooking meats and washing foods and to avoid getting near cat feces altogether.
Hepatitis B Virus
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be passed to an infant during birth, with serious consequences, such as liver damage and liver cancer. It’s very important that testing and treatment for Hepatitis B occur early in a pregnancy so the infant won’t suffer from effects of the infection.