Expectant mothers usually prioritize their health and safety as much as possible. They recognize that any illness or injury can hurt their growing baby. Unfortunately, even the most prudent mother may contract an infection during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Because infections can be so dangerous for pregnant women and newborns, doctors must be vigilant for signs of infection. Failure to promptly diagnose and treat infections can severely harm the baby or the mother.
Undiagnosed Infections in Pregnant Women
Infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in pregnant women. According to the CDC, infections are responsible for 12.5 percent of maternal deaths in the United States. The most common types of infection during pregnancy are urinary tract infections, followed by respiratory infections like pneumonia. Other common infections include sexually transmitted infections such as herpes and gastrointestinal infections.
Doctors must be careful to reduce the chances of a pregnant woman contracting an infection. Exam rooms should be clean and sterile, and all medical personnel should wash their hands before coming into contact with the expectant mother. In some cases, a woman may be placed on antibiotics as a preventative measure if she is at risk of developing an infection.
However, even when doctors take all the necessary precautions, infections can still occur. Infections can cause serious pregnancy complications like preterm labor, low birth weight, and stillbirth. While some infections can be treated with antibiotics, others may require hospitalization or more aggressive treatment. It is crucial that any infections be diagnosed quickly so that the mother can receive the appropriate care.
Unfortunately, infections are often mistaken for other conditions common in pregnancy, such as morning sickness or Braxton Hicks contractions. As a result, many infections go undiagnosed. If a nurse, doctor, or hospital’s failure to diagnose and properly treat an infection causes a birth injury or maternal injury, the at-fault party may be liable for medical negligence.
Financial Compensation for Damages Caused by Misdiagnosed Infections
If you or your child were injured because of a healthcare professional’s failure to diagnose an infection, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Potential damages in a medical negligence case include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Mental anguish
Contact a Birth Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Case
If you believe that your or your child’s injuries were caused by a healthcare professional’s failure to diagnose or treat an infection, you should contact a Chicago birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will review your case and help you understand your legal options. Call Birth Injury Law Alliance, Ltd. at 312-462-4200 and set up a free consultation.