Newborns Can Be Seriously Hurt by a Group B Strep Infection
Some birth injuries are more obvious, while others come in the form of diseases that may slowly manifest during the first week of a baby's life; an example of this is a group B strep infection in newborns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the U.S., about 1,200 babies less than a week old get early-onset group B strep disease.
About 1 out of 4 pregnant women carry group B strep bacteria, but they usually don't realize it because it is not serious for adults and some people may never have any symptoms. Group B strep bacteria lives in the body naturally in the intestines, as well as the urinary and genital tracts. Unfortunately, this bacteria—that has next to no effect on pregnant women—can be trouble for their babies.
When a woman is around 35 to 37 weeks pregnant, her doctor should test her for group B strep. If the doctor determines she has group B strep, she will be given antibiotics during labor and delivery to combat the disease. Doctors do not administer antibiotics ahead of labor because the bacteria can easily come back before then.
If a baby does contract group B strep during delivery, they could end up with meningitis, pneumonia or sepsis. Pneumonia and sepsis are both life-threatening for a baby. A baby that develops meningitis could have serious problems later in life and may develop Cerebral palsy, learning problems, hearing issues and seizures.
Did your baby contract group B strep because your doctor in Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas did not take the necessary steps to prevent it? Contact The Girards Law Firm to speak with an experienced birth injury lawyer today at 888.333.9709.