While a pregnant woman’s friends and family are busy daydreaming about the new baby they can’t wait to meet, thousands and thousands of critical chemical processes are still taking place deep within the woman’s womb. Although most of these are normal and positive, some of them can actually harm the fetus. Furthermore, careful precautions must be taken to protect the newborn from any delivery room bacteria.
Birth Infections after Delivering a Child
A. Infections Transmitted by Mother to Infant
Unfortunately, a pregnant woman’s infectious diseases can reach the fetus through the blood flow to the placenta. Newborns may be forced to fight off such viruses or infectious diseases as herpes, toxoplasmosis and rubella (the German measles).
Some researchers believe that when such infections are present, they can cause higher levels of cytokines (immune system cells) to circulate throughout the woman’s body. These can cause inflammations which in turn can cause the fetus to suffer central nervous system damage. A number of traumatic medical conditions can then develop. Even a pregnant woman running fever during delivery is at risk of causing some of this same central nervous system damage.
While it’ sometimes very difficult to prove that a baby’s birth trauma wasn’t caused by an infection transmitted by the mother, most of the traumatic injuries that a mother’s infections can cause are usually readily identifiable as opposed to those caused by bacteria present in the delivery room.
B. Infections That Can be Contracted in the Delivery Room
To avoid transferring bacterial infections to newborns in the delivery room, health care providers should:
- administer eye drops or ointments to each new baby;
- apply a purple antiseptic to the baby’s umbilical cord to prevent an infection;
- give each child it’s first bath to wash off any remaining placenta or other substances (just as soon as the staff has stabilized the child’s body temperature);
- suction all excess fluid from each baby’s nose, mouth or throat right after birth;
- make sure that all babies born via a Caesarean section are especially well bathed so they won’t pick up any of the various types of bacteria that can collect near the mother’s incision area;
- be sure that all of the birthing equipment has been properly sterilized in advance;
- make sure they put on clean surgical gloves and gowns when moving from one delivery room (or hospital area)to another.
Pursuing A Lawsuit Based on Your Child’s Birth Infections
If have serious reasons to believe that your delivery room physician (or a hospital employee may have transmitted a dangerous infection to your baby, give serious thought to contacting a birth trauma lawyer. Be sure you are very candid about any infections you may have battled during the years, months or weeks prior to delivery.
A highly experienced Birth Injury Lawyer will recognize the types of evidence that must be present in your medical records to support a successful medical malpractice case. You will be given plenty of time to ask all of your questions, including those concerning how a lawsuit tends to progress over time.