More than one quarter of women carry the Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a bacteria that poses no harm to adults. With no physical symptoms, most Group B Strep carriers have no idea that that they indeed are carriers and could potentially transfer the bacteria to their newborn child during the labor and delivery process.
Damage from mother’s undiagnosed strep to developing child
Unlike adults, GBS poses a risk of serious harm to a baby who may not have the antibodies to fend off the infection. Newborns exposed to GBS bacteria risk developing potentially deadly conditions such as:
- Brain damage
- Hearing loss
- Cerebral palsy
Recognized danger, an accepted standard of care
The medical community has long known of the potential dangers GBS poses to newborns and the standard of care now dictates that all expectant mothers get tested for Group B Strep during the third trimester of their pregnancy— regardless if they have been tested during earlier pregnancies.
Post-birth medical care for children exposed to GBS
When women test positive for GBS, OB/GYN’s should make note of the findings and devise a plan to minimize the baby’s exposure during the birthing process. The most common methods of preventing Group B Step disease in babies to administer antibiotics to the mother during labor.
While antibiotics and other preventative measures may reduce a newborn’s chance of contracting Group B Strep, all newborns born to women who are GBS carriers should be carefully monitored to identify the earliest manifestations of the disease.
Babies with Group B Strep may have one or more of the following:
- Erratic heart rates
- Difficulty latching on to mother’s breast or feeding
- Variation in body temperature
- Bluish coloring (cyanosis)
- Periods without breathing
- Unusually anxious behavior
Depending on the physician’s preference as well as the presence of certain conditions, newborns that have been exposed to GBS may be given intravenous antibiotics as a treatment or prophylactic.
Understanding your child’s legal rights in Group B Strep Cases
The medical negligence attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have significant experience with the medical standards concerning Group B Strep screening and treatment. If you child has manifested any conditions that relate to Group B Strep we would honor the chance to talk with you about your legal rights for you and your child.
It is crucial to remember that all legal actions are governed by a statute of limitations where legal action must be commenced within a statutory time constraint. A failure to act within the time parameters can result in your child losing out on his or her legal rights for a recovery.
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