Chorioamnionitis is an infection of the amniotic fluid and placenta. A complication that affects as much as two percent of births, according to Cleveland Clinic, chorioamnionitis can cause preterm birth, sepsis, brain injury, and lung disease in the developing baby.
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Infant Chorioamnionitis Lawsuits & Injury Cases
If you had chorioamnionitis during your pregnancy, and your newborn baby suffered an injury or health condition as a result, your physician and/or the health care professionals handling your delivery may be liable for medical malpractice.
Lawyers must prove the following to hold the at-fault party liable for your baby’s injuries:
- The medical provider was required to uphold the standard of care: The level of skill and care that a healthcare provider with similar training would have demonstrated in a similar situation.
- Breach: How the medical provider failed to measure up to the medical standard of care.
- Causation and Injury: The medical professional’s breach of duty caused measurable injury to the baby.
Your lawyer can also provide expert testimony from medical witnesses who share the same profession, specialty, and experience as the defendant.
An infant chorioamnionitis lawyer will review the medical records and prognosis for the infant and pair it with expert opinions from economists, vocational therapists, and life-care planning professionals to calculate the full range of damages that you have assumed and will continue to endure.
The types and amounts of damages an attorney will seek on your behalf depend upon the nature and severity of injuries your baby suffers as a result of the chorioamnionitis. Examples of the types of damages you might receive include:
- Past, present, future and ongoing medical care
- Physical therapy
- Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and other specialized equipment
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Income lost as a result of parents having to care for a disabled infant and child
- Special education costs
- Loss of consortium
Infant Chorioamnionitis Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Infant Chorioamnionitis Types
Four categories of chorioamnionitis exist:
- Histologic chorioamnionitis – Fetal membranes show inflammatory cells
- Clinical chorioamnionitis – Mother has a fever over 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and two or more clinical signs, such as uterine tenderness and foul-smelling amniotic fluid
- Maternal inflammatory response – Mother displays inflammation in subchorion, chorion, or amnion
- Fetal inflammatory response – Fetus shows inflammatory changes in the umbilical cord
Infant Chorioamnionitis Causes
If a bacterial infection enters the uterus, chorioamnionitis can result. Once inside the uterus, the infection affects the placental tissues and amniotic fluid. Group B Streptococcus can cause chorioamnionitis, but usually, the organisms that generate the infection are those that typically exist in the vagina.
If the amniotic sac is broken for a lengthy period, these organisms travel upward from the vagina into the uterus, and this is where chorioamnionitis develops.
Maternal risk factors for chorioamnionitis include:
- Ruptured fetal membranes, in which the water has broken for an extended period of time.
- Premature labor, which is preterm labor that starts at least three weeks before the mother’s due date.
- Long labor
- Previous chorioamnionitis
- Epidural anesthesia being used during labor
- Frequent vaginal examinations
- Infections in the genital tract, including Group B streptococcus and sexually transmitted infections
- Internal fetal monitoring
- Use of tobacco or alcohol
Infant Chorioamnionitis Symptoms
Because the symptoms of chorioamnionitis symptoms may easily be confused with other medical conditions, it is crucial to obtain a diagnosis from a physician. Furthermore, the symptoms can manifest differently from one woman to the next.
Common symptoms include:
- Foul-smelling amniotic fluid
- Fetus and mother experience increased heart rate
- Uterus is painful or tender
Infant Chorioamnionitis Diagnosis and Treatment
A doctor can identify chorioamnionitis before delivery, during delivery, and for a period up to 24 hours after delivery. The physician will evaluate symptoms and conduct laboratory tests to check for the infection (including blood tests, amniocentesis, and ultrasounds), on top of performing a comprehensive review of the mother’s medical history and a physical examination.
If the doctor confirms chorioamnionitis, they will treat the infection using antibiotics, which they may continue to administer after delivery. The diagnosis may result in the delivery of the baby if the fetus is in danger or to prevent further complications in the mother.
Infant Chorioamnionitis Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my baby has Infant Chorioamnionitis?
Chorioamnionitis can manifest in a variety of ways in babies after delivery. The first warning sign could be a preterm birth. Other indicators of infection include pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and deafness. If a newborn baby presents these signs and symptoms, the doctor should test the baby for chorioamnionitis.
Can Infant Chorioamnionitis be fatal?
Yes, chorioamnionitis can be fatal. Although rare, complications from the infection can prove fatal to the infant. Early diagnosis and treatment are the best tools to fight such complications.
Who is liable for Infant Chorioamnionitis?
Ideally, your chorioamnionitis would have been diagnosed and treated before labor and delivery. The delivery team should have been monitoring for any signs of the infection, testing for chorioamnionitis if signs present themselves, and treating the infection early to lower the infant’s risk of infection and decrease the likelihood of potential complications.
When chorioamnionitis is not detected, diagnosed, and/or treated before delivery, it falls upon the delivery team to identify and diagnose. In these cases, the medical team lacks time to perform the proper diagnostic procedures via lab tests and typically make a determination of infection based on observation of clinical symptoms.
If any of the health care providers along the chain of pregnancy, labor, and delivery fail to take the proper steps to identify, diagnose, treat, and respond to chorioamnionitis, and the infant suffers physically as a result, any or all of the involved parties may be liable for medical malpractice.
What is the statute of limitations for Infant Chorioamnionitis?
How long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit varies depending on the state where your child was born. Each state has its own laws that apply in these cases, including a statute of limitations, a statute of repose, and the possibility of tolling for minors. Your attorney can help you understand the deadlines that apply in your case.
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Infant Chorioamnionitis Glossary Terms
- Amniocentesis – A medical procedure whereby the doctor removes amniotic fluid from the uterus for testing
- Diaphoresis – Unexplained, excessive sweating
- Fetal Tachycardia – Abnormal increase in the fetal heart rate
Get Help With an Infant Chorioamnionitis Birth Injury Claim
An attorney can review your medical case, free of charge, and inform you of your legal options for holding health care professionals liable for your infant’s chorioamnionitis. Your lawyer can help you file your birth injury claim and will work to see that you receive compensation for your economic and emotional losses. Call today at 1-800-222-9529.
Infant Chorioamnionitis Lawyer News
When a mother gives birth there is a high risk for infections. Doctors do what they can to reduce the chances of this, but it’s not impossible to avoid. But certain bacterial infections are rare. One mother got a C-section and then an unpleasant surprise. Fox News reports.
A New York woman gave birth via C-section. Days later, she nearly died due to an infection by flesh-eating bacteria in the incision. She had a fever that reached to 102 and her stomach started to turn red and hot.
When she reached to to investigate, she found blisters across her abdomen. Her doctors offered to drain them, but the mother knew that this was no ordinary case and wanted to go to the hospital. It was later diagnosed as a necrotizing fasciitis and she had to undergo surgery to save her life.
One of the causes of an infection after a C-section is chorioamnionitis. This is an infection of the placenta or the fluid inside of it. This can be quite damaging to a baby’s health. Fortunately, the baby is doing well. But it took the mother two weeks to recover enough to be near her baby.
We hope that the mother makes a full recovery and that the hospital determines the cause of the infection so they can improve their pre-natal checks.
One risk of pregnancy that can become quite serious is an infection. Infections can spread to any tissue of the body, including the womb and the umbilical cord. Infection of the womb when there is an unborn baby is called chorioamnionitis. It’s an extremely serious condition that can cause the baby and the mother to die.
A good doctor can determine when an infection is present and treat it with antibiotics, but in one story, reported by The Island Packet, doctors in South Carolina are under trial for failure to detect chorioamnionitis in time.
A mother was expected to have a normal labor when she went to Hilton Head Hospital to have her second child. After several hours of tests, she was discharged and scheduled for induction two days later.
When she came back, her temperature was up and she had pregnancy-induced hypertension, which are warning signs of an infection. Antibiotics were ordered but didn’t come until labor was in progress. When the baby was born, his heart rate was too low to support life and resuscitation efforts failed.
To make matters worse, the mother experienced septic shock and blood clots from the undetected infection. By the time she got out of the intensive care unit, doctors gave her a total hysterectomy. An autopsy of the baby confirmed the presence of chorioamnionitis.
According to an expert witness at the trial, had the doctors recognized the infection and performed a Caesarian section, the baby’s life would likely have been saved.
The trial is still in process.
Inquest Finds Hospital Liable For Inadequate Care To Mother Who Lost Her Baby To Infection
A couple in London has sued a hospital for letting chorioamnionitis go untreated and ignoring the mother’s pleas to get a C-section. MEAWW.com reported on the tragic story.
Two years ago, young Sebastian died after just four days due to a fatal brain injury caused by an infection. The coroner in the investigation found that Kingston Hospital in South West London was at fault. The mother had developed an infection due to pre-labor treatments, then was left in labor for 32 hours. The child had to be delivered by forceps after his heart rate started dropping.
The investigation found that the baby had acute chorioamnionitis during the mother’s labor. This is an infection of the placenta and amniotic fluid and can cause severe brain damage, organ failure, and death if it is not treated. Furthermore, the investigation said that the hospital performed inadequate counseling followup after the tragedy, causing the couple much mental distress.
The infection was believed to be caused by a sweeping procedure done to widen the cervix. However, this procedure can cause bacteria on the cervix to go up into the womb and cause an infection. After excretions from the baby were found in the water of the mother, the mother asked for a C-section but was denied. She was denied again even after getting a fever and the baby’s heart rate started fluctuating.
Maternal Infection Greatly Increases Autism Risks
A study published this year in JAMA shows that even minor infections in a mother can have a significant impact on children, including a risk of autism. UPI reported on the study.
The study says that maternal infections cause a nearly 80% increased risk of autism and a 24% increased risk of depression in children. These included major infections, like chorioamnionitis, but also common illnesses like the flu or a UTI.
The researchers believe that the increased risk may be due to the inflammation caused by infection. They looked at birth records for 1.8 million people in Sweden who were born between 1973 and 2014.
They also looked at the risks of getting a flu shot for this damage. They did not find a correlation. They concluded that pregnant women who do not get flu shots could be putting their children at neurological risk.
“These results emphasize the importance of avoiding infections during pregnancy, which may impart subtle fetal brain injuries contributing to the development of autism and depression,” researchers wrote in the study.
If autism is caused by subtle damage to the brain due to inflammation during development, that would be a major breakthrough in finding the root cause of this condition. However, more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be made.
Mothers With MS Have A Higher Risk Of Pregnancy Infections According To New Study
When someone files a birth injury lawsuit, you can be sure that the defense will want to know everything about the mother’s pre-existing health before to the incident. There are cases where certain behaviors or diseases raise the risk of a complication that causes injury. Here is one such example from Neurology Advisor.
A new study in The American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that mothers with multiple sclerosis (MS) had an increased risk of infections during pregnancy and preterm delivery. They looked at general infections, chorioamnionitis (infection of the placenta and amniotic fluid), as well as other indications.
Researchers used the information from two healthcare databases to evaluate the risks. Over five million births were studied. Infections during pregnancy occurred in 43.4% of mothers without MS and 51.7% of mothers with MS. Also, mothers with MS had more C-sections and an increased risk for premature birth.
There were no meaningful differences in pregnancy between mothers who had an episode of MS during pregnancy and those who did not. MS also didn’t cause a risk of major malformations in infants.
Doctors should warn patients when they are at an increased risk of danger due to a pre-existing condition. That will let patients take preparations so they and their unborn children can be safe.
New Research Proves That The Placenta Is A Sterile Environment
You might have seen recent health stories about how the gut biome is important for human health. There’s been a similar debate about bacteria in the placenta. It was thought that it was a sterile environment, but in 2014 a study came out that said that low levels of bacteria were in there.
A new study shows that these earlier results were likely due to contamination and that the placenta is sterile. Phys.org reported on the study.
The new study used tissue samples from over 575 women. These were tested using multiple techniques to see if bacteria were present in the tissue. No evidence was found of a particular biome within the placenta.
However, they did find outside contamination. They found the same strain of E. coli in hundreds of samples and believe it came from contaminated test kits.
They also found vaginal bacteria, which was also found in the 2104 study. However, by comparing the levels between babies who were born vaginally and who were born via C-section, they found higher levels in the former. This suggests that there was contamination of the tissue during birth.
Bacterial contamination of the placenta can lead to premature birth and chorioamnionitis, a dangerous infection. Proof that there should be no bacteria in the placenta will help doctors catch infections earlier.
Preliminary Study Shows Coronavirus May Not Transfer To Unborn Children
The COVID-19 virus, popularly known in America as the coronavirus infection, has been getting a lot of attention in the news lately. Cases have shown up in numerous countries around the world, including the US. Scientists have been hard at work studying this disease. The Lancet has published a preliminary report on whether the disease can transfer from mothers to unborn children.
The latest research studied nine pregnant women who had pneumonia caused by the disease and gave birth. Scientists took samples from the nose and throat from the infant, as well as from the amniotic fluid, cord blood, and from breastmilk for signs of the new virus.
The study did not find any evidence of the virus in the collected fluids. However, there have been two reported cases in newborns after they had close contact with people who have the disease, including one that contracted it 36 hours after birth.
This is a new virus, and thus the sample size for this research is small. However, previous similar viruses like SARS and MERS had much worse effects on unborn children. The researchers are cautiously optimistic that pregnant women with COVID-19 do not have to worry as much about the virus causing birth injuries.
The scientists plan to do followup studies as soon as they find more pregnant women infected with the disease.
Study Shows That Even Minor Infections Can Affect Mental Health In Infants
A Swedish study reported by MedPage Today shows that even minor infections in a pregnant woman can have quite negative effects on a child’s mental health. The study was published in JAMA Psychiatry.
Infections like chorioamnionitis can directly harm a child’s brain, whether directly or through the mother’s inflammation response. The researchers wanted to know how different kinds of infections, including minor ones, might affect mental health later in life.
They pulled data from hospitals in Sweden from over 2 million people born from 1973 to 2014 who had hospitalization records and adjusted for sex and birth weight.
Then they divided those children who had a mother with an infection into groups depending on the severity of the infection and looked at four mental health problems. For bipolar disorder and psychosis, no correlation was found.
However, for autism and depression, there was a significant result. The chance for an autism diagnosis was raised over 80%. Furthermore, it did not matter if the infection was a severe one or not. UTIs also showed this increase. Depression chances by age 21 were increased by about 25%, including an increased risk of suicide.
Further study is needed since the study only involved Swedish women and inpatient hospital records. However, this study does show it’s a good idea for expecting mothers to keep up with their vaccinations and checkups to avoid infectious diseases during pregnancy.