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If your baby suffered a birth injury such as cerebral palsy from a neonatal infection, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. At Willens Law Offices, our team of award-winning attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and options.
There are a wide variety of infections that can affect a newborn baby. Some of them are contracted right after birth when a baby's immune system isn't mature enough to completely fight infection. Others are transferred from a mother to her child during the delivery process.
A physician should have the experience, training and knowledge to handle any potential birth injury risk situation. If a doctor fails to detect, diagnose, or treat a neonatal infection, they should be held accountable when a birth injury occurs.
Encephalitis: this is an inflammation of the brain, typically caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), also known as genital herpes. If a pregnant woman contracts encephalitis, the results can be devastating for her unborn child if they symptoms are not quickly detected or properly treated.
To minimize the risk of infection to a baby, a pregnant woman should be tested for HSV and then treated for it if her results are positive. If a baby is born and it is suspected that they have encephalitis, treatment should begin before the test results come back. The prognosis for a newborn baby with encephalitis depends on how healthy they are, the timing of the diagnoses and the severity of the infection.
Mild cases of encephalitis typically recover without any problems. However, severe cases can result in life-long birth injuries such as cerebral palsy if not detected or treated quickly.
Meningitis: Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, which are the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord. It can also be referred to as spinal meningitis. It is either caused by a virus or by bacteria that travel through the bloodstream due to an infection in a different part of the body.
When it affects babies up to 2 or 3 months, is is called neonatal meningitis. Meningitis can be very serious and if there is any delay in detection or treatment, a baby could be at great risk of developing hearing loss, brain damage, disability and in some cases death.
Sepsis: When a newborn baby develops sepsis, it is known as neonatal sepsis. Neonatal sepsis is an extremely dangerous blood infection. It can lead to meningitis, brain injury, cerebral palsy, seizures, and septic shock. It can damage the brain by either directly or indirectly infecting the central nervous system.
It can be transmitted to a baby through the amniotic fluid or as the baby passes through the mother's lower genital tract during a vaginal delivery. Both chorioamnionitis and group B streptococcus are infections that are able to travel to an infant before or during delivery and these can cause sepsis and other disorders.
While sepsis typically transmits to the baby in the womb or during delivery, it can occur within the first 7 days of life and is known as late-onset sepsis (LOS). With LOS, the baby is infected during delivery and the bacteria later progresses into sepsis.
There are many other infections that a newborn baby is at risk of contracting than just the ones listed above. Some of the viruses include chickenpox, hepatitis and Rubella. Bacterial infections include syphilis, Group B Strep, E. coli, and others.
The symptoms of these neonatal infections are just a wide in variety as the infections that cause them. However, there are many symptoms that when present definitely indicate that something is wrong and that there is a need for further testing.
In many of these situations, if detection and treatment are not done quickly, the results can be serious and sometimes even fatal. Some of these symptoms include:
When a neonatal infection is suspected, a baby should be treated even before the results of the additional testing come back. When there is a delay in the diagnosis or treatment, serious birth injuries can occur such as cerebral palsy.
If your baby suffered a preventable birth injury due to a neonatal infection, you no doubt have many concerns and questions. You may be wondering how you will bear the cost of taking care of your child. On top of this you have emotional stress, as the effects of a birth injury are devastating.
If a doctor was negligent or a hospital was inept and caused harmed to your baby, they should be held accountable. At Willens Law Offices we have experienced birth injury lawyers that will help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today by calling (312) 957-4166 or by filling out our online contact form.
The plaintiff went to a Chicago hospital for delivery of twins via cesarean section. In the delivery room, a suspicious rash was recognized on one of the twins and later, fecal and urine cultures confirmed the presence of candida. She was started on prophylactic anti-fungal medicine and is healthy. The other twin was clear of any rash and though she was at risk for fungal infection, she was not treated in a timely manner. Later, a head ultrasound and MRI confirmed the diagnosis and damage to her brain. A lawsuit was filed on the plaintiff’s behalf. The case was vigorously defended by lawyers for the physician and the hospital that he worked for over 3 years. Eventually, a mediation took place at which time the defendants offered $3,000,000 to settle, which the plaintiff rejected. It was not until trial that the case settled for $10,000,000.
Birth injury cases are among the most complicated medical malpractice cases to litigate. With years of experience in birth trauma litigation our legal team has the skills, the resources and experience necessary to address and win a wide variety of birth injury cases. Our legal team has secured millions of dollars in compensation for birth injury victims.
With decades of hands-on experience working with top healthcare professionals in labor and delivery, our legal team has access to some of the top medical professionals in the world. As in many types of medical malpractice cases, high quality expert are essential in obtaining justice.
Our firm was established to focus on the unique needs of our clients. We work with top medical, life-planning, and forensics experts to determine the causes and extent of injuries, prognoses of victims, and areas of medical negligence. Our passion for helping birth injury victims allows our attorneys to deliver unrivaled legal services for your family.
Willens Law Offices have helped the families of children across Illinois get the compensation they need for a secure future.
We strive to give the utmost personal attention to each child and family we represent.