Pregnant women and infants are especially prone to certain medical risks, such as Group B Strep Infection (GBS). Some pregnant women carry GBS and can pass it onto their babies during childbirth. GBS can cause many serious complications for newborns and may be fatal in some cases.
Given these risks, doctors are supposed to test pregnant women for GBS, so they can then treat the expectant mother and exposed newborn if necessary. When a doctor fails to screen a pregnant woman for GBS, the consequences can be dire.
If your baby contracted GBS during childbirth, and your doctor failed to screen you or treat your child for a resulting infection, call a West Palm Beach Group B Strep lawyer today. You could be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills and other damages you or your child suffered due to your doctor’s failure. Contact a qualified medical malpractice lawyer to learn more.
What Is Group B Streptococcus (GBS)?
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. Mothers who have GBS can pass along the bacteria to their babies during childbirth.
Not every woman who has GBS will pass it on, nor will every baby exposed to GBS develop an infection. However, some newborns exposed to their mother’s GBS during birth can develop infections causing serious complications or even death.
Women who test positive for GBS during pregnancy are monitored, can be given antibiotics during labor and their babies can be put on antibiotics shortly after birth. This kind of treatment generally prevents newborns exposed to GBS from developing serious health complications linked to their exposure.
Complications from GBS
The primary risk of GBS is that an infant exposed to this bacteria can develop an infection. Any infection in infants can prove serious or even fatal because they do not have fully developed immune systems.
When a doctor fails to conduct a routine GBS test, they will not know whether they should put a newborn on antibiotics immediately after birth to prevent such an infection.
Failure to conduct a routine GBS test in a pregnant woman can lead to disastrous results for her child because the baby will not receive GBS treatment after their birth.
The Mayo Clinic has identified the following potential complications for untreated infants exposed to GBS:
- Inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia)
- Inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
- Infection in the bloodstream (bacteremia)
Women who were not properly screened may be able to sue their doctor for malpractice if they or their baby got sick due to GBS.
Suing for GBS Complications
All doctors are required to provide a certain standard of care, to ensure that their patients receive proper treatment. When a doctor fails to provide a routine test or treatment, they have failed to provide the appropriate standard of care to their patient.
When a patient suffers due to their doctor’s failure to diagnose or treat GBS, they can sue the doctor for medical malpractice.
Mothers who did not receive a GBS screening can sue their doctor if their baby subsequently developed GBS complications, such as infection. A West Palm Beach Group B Strep lawyer can help parents seek justice for themselves and their children in court.
Contacting a West Palm Beach GBS Attorney
If your doctor failed to screen you for GBS during your pregnancy or failed to provide your newborn with proper treatment for GBS exposure, call a West Palm Beach Group B Strep lawyer now. You can be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries your baby suffered due to the misdiagnosis or lack of treatment. A GBS lawyer can work diligently to achieve a positive outcome for you.