Neonatal Herpes Encephalitis

Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus InfectionsWhat is neonatal herpes encephalitis?

Neonatal herpes encephalitis, also known as neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV), is a serious infection that can cause long-term damage to a baby’s health, or even death, if untreated. The infection can be transmitted during delivery through the mother’s infected genital tract or spread from one neonate to another by hospital staff. The condition can be classified in three forms: skin, eyes, and mouth herpes (SEM); disseminated herpes (DIS); or central nervous system herpes (CNS). In many instances, an infant will have multiple forms of HSV.

What Are the Symptoms of Neonatal HSV

Symptoms of this condition include, but are not limited to:

  • blisters on the surface of the skin
  • body stiffness
  • respiratory distress
  • temperature instability or rapid onset of fever
  • seizures
  • lethargy

The specific symptoms displayed by the child are indicative of which form of HSV he or she has. Most cases symptoms present between the first and third week of life, while other may not be noticeable until as late as four weeks of life. Parents who suspect their child has some form of the infection should consult a doctor, who will either perform an HSV culture or a microscopy of skin lesions.

Can Neonatal HSV be Treated?

Prompt treatment for neonatal HSV is critical for a healthy outcome. The infection must be treated with an acyclovir IV treatment for two to three weeks. Other support therapy will be administered as well, such as respiratory support, additional fluids, and other monitoring to ensure the baby is stable.

How Can a Doctor Be Held Responsible for the Development of Neonatal HSV?

In most cases, a doctor’s negligence will hold them responsible for any long-term damage sustained from neonatal HSV. Negligence includes:

  • failure to timely diagnose/treat HSV in a pregnant woman
  • failure to timely diagnose/treat HSV in the infant
  • failure to inform the mother of potential risks of delivery methods
  • failure to properly deliver the baby by C-section to avoid risks for infection

If Your Child Has a Long-Term Injury or Illness Caused by Neonatal Herpes, We Can Help

For more than 45 years, Thurswell Law has been helping families whose children have experienced a birth injury. If a doctor failed to diagnose or treat your infant’s HSV, then your child may be entitled to monetary compensation for your suffering. We will not charge a fee unless you collect in your case. Call today for a free consultation at (248) 354-2222.

(248) 354-2222

1000 Town Center, Suite 500
Southfield, MI 48075

Have a question? Contact Us for Free Case Consultation GET STARTED NOW!