Both newborns and their mothers have weak immune systems — the baby’s is not yet developed, and the mother’s may very well be compromised due to labor and delivery. While it is imperative in all situations that healthcare professionals only use sterile equipment with patients and take all reasonable precautions to keep things hygienic, it is especially important in delivery and maternity wards. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors and other healthcare workers fail to meet these standards, and newborns get sick as a result. Due to the precarious state of their immune systems, this can be a grave matter, and even life-threatening.
Infections could be passed from mother to baby or from unsterile instruments to the baby. If a doctor fails to take reasonable precautions to screen and care for a mother with an infection, or if any healthcare worker contaminates equipment or uses unsanitary practices, that person is endangering the life of both mother and baby. Some of the infections that could harm a newborn due to worker negligence include:
Group B Strep is possibly the most dangerous of these illnesses. Since one in four US women are carriers, whoever is overseeing prenatal care should screen the mother in the weeks before delivery. If screening is not performed, or proper precautions are not taken following a positive screen, the mother could pass on this serious infection to her baby. Symptoms of such strep infections in newborns include respiratory problems, meningitis, organ failure, and sepsis. Such an infection is very serious and can be life-threatening.
Seeing your baby harmed by the negligence of the professionals paid to care for him or her can be devastating. If your baby was infected due to the negligence of your healthcare team, the Stevens Point birth injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® can help. Contact us at 800-242-2874 to speak with one of our compassionate and dedicated attorneys.