Preventing Group B Strep Neonatal Infection and Other Birth Injuries

Published on July 22nd, 2019

group b strep birth injury thurswell lawThere are many prenatal tests that are recommended for expectant mothers, including the test for the bacterial infection known as group B streptococcus (GBS). This infection can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum and, left untreated or misdiagnosed, can be passed to the unborn baby during pregnancy. Group B strep is the most common bacterial cause of early-onset neonatal sepsis.

What Is Early-Onset Neonatal Sepsis?

Cases of early-onset neonatal sepsis occur within 24 hours of a baby’s birth. The infant can contract the infection from the mother while still in the womb or during delivery. Causes can include:

  • Group B strep
  • Placental infection
  • Premature delivery
  • Infection in the amniotic fluid
  • Water breaking more than a day before delivery
  • Negligent medical care

GBS is the single most common bacterial cause of neonatal early-onset sepsis. The prevention of perinatal disease – with perinatal referring to the time just before and just after birth – is critical to infant health and safety.

What Is Late-Onset Neonatal Sepsis?

Late-onset neonatal sepsis is acquired after birth. Causes can include:

  • A prolonged hospital stay
  • Exposure to infection
  • Contaminated equipment
  • Poor medical care

Updated Guidelines for the Prevention of Early-Onset Sepsis

There are many complications that can arise from undiagnosed neonatal sepsis, including brain damage and death. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently updated its guidance for group B strep, indicating that caregivers in neonatal practices must follow their new changes in dosing and assessment to prevent group B strep.

Some of the recommendations for GBS prevention include:

  • Taking a culture between 36 and 37 weeks’ gestation to keep the culture-to-delivery interval at less than five weeks to optimize the value of the screening
  • Administration of antibiotics to laboring women who have a positive GBS culture, those who previously delivered a newborn with GBS disease, and women who have preterm labor
  • Administration of alternative antibiotics for mothers allergic to penicillin or at a high risk of having an allergic reaction
  • Diagnosis of GBS through blood draw or culture of spinal fluid

Negligence in Obstetric Care

Doctors have a standard of care to observe when treating pregnant women, including a battery of tests throughout the pregnancy. When these tests take place, the manner in which they take place, and the accuracy of the diagnosis all impact the health and safety of the fetus and mother.

Incorrectly diagnosing group B strep or missing the diagnosis completely can result in a life-altering situation for a family. Babies who contract GBS could suffer a brain injury and be left with permanent damage, from cerebral palsy to developmental delays and learning disabilities.

If you or your infant have suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor – whether prenatally or in the delivery room – contact the Michigan birth injury attorneys at Thurswell Law to get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation by calling (248) 354-2222 today. We do not charge any fees until we win.

Back to News

(248) 354-2222
1000 Town Center, Suite 500 Southfield, MI 48075
Have a question? Contact Us for Free Case Consultation GET STARTED NOW!