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Failure to Treat Maternal Infections

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Failure to Treat Maternal Infections

Did you have infections that went untreated during your pregnancy?

Pregnancy is an important time for mothers and their babies. Each day is crucial to the developing fetus and the health care for the mom. That is why doctors will prescribe plenty of neonatal vitamins and monitor the expectant mother’s health closely. However, infections do sneak past hardworking immune systems. If not treated properly in a timely manner, the mother and baby can suffer long-term injuries or even death.

Some Common Infections During Pregnancy


Toxoplasmosis is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can infect the placenta and subsequently the baby. Symptoms for this infection are not usually apparent in healthy women. Although relatively harmless for women, toxoplasmosis can be dangerous for the fetus. If caught early, there are antibiotics that the mother can take.

However, if left untreated, the infection can cause:

  • Still Birth
  • Long-term neurological and structural damage
  • Death early after birth or miscarriage

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary tract infections are not uncommon for women, especially pregnant women. Also called bladder infections, they are what happens when there is bacterial inflammation in the urinal tract. Although they are relatively harmless to healthy women, they can be damaging to developing fetuses. Because urinary tract infections can cause kidneys to become infected, they must be treated quickly.

If left untreated, UTI’s can affect the fetus by:

  • Causing an early labor
  • Causing the baby to be underweight

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is a relatively rare infection that Americans contract because there is a vaccine available for it. However, if a pregnant mother does contract chicken pox, it should not hurt the baby because there are antibodies and antibiotics to protect both mother and child.

But if chicken pox is left undetected or unmonitored, the fetus can contract congenital varicella syndrome (CVS). This is very dangerous if not properly treated.

CVS can cause in the baby:

  • Birth defects such as scarring, malformed ribs, and problems with the neurological system
  • Vision problems
  • Miscarriage
  • Late fetal death


Listeriosis is an infection that can be contracted by food tainted with Listeria Monocytogenes. This is very dangerous for the fetus since it can cause blood infection and meningitis. Although this type of infection is relatively rare, it should be promptly treated. Because the infection targets the placenta, amniotic fluids, and the fetus itself, it can cause stillbirths and miscarriages.

Other effects of Listeriosis include:

  • Blood infection
  • Premature labor
  • Sores
  • Infections in the central nervous system
  • Difficulty breathing

Group B Streptococcus (GBS)

GBS is a bacterial infection found in the intestinal tract. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that expectant mothers be regularly monitored for GBS, especially at weeks 35 through 37. It is important to diagnose and treat the infection early since there can be lasting damages to the baby.

If untreated, GBS can cause:

  • Still births
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Disabilities
  • Serious infections

If you or your baby has suffered because infections during your pregnancy were left undiagnosed or untreated, contact our Chicago birth injury attorneys today. Our legal team can help review your rights and see if you have a case.

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Common Birth Injury Questions

  • What is a birth injury?

    A: The term “birth injury” refers to trauma suffered by a mother or her child during labor and delivery. Sadly, “birth injury” typically refers to an injury sustained by the child and can include physical injuries such as broken bones or injuries caused by misdiagnosis of oxygen deprivation, etc.

  • Who is Responsible for a Child’s Birth Defects?

    A: Liability for any personal injury can be complicated, and birth injuries are no exception. If you suspect that your child’s injury or medical complications are the result of a negligent doctor or hospital, speak with an attorney immediately.

  • Was My Child’s Injury Preventable?

    A: Any injury caused by the carelessness or neglect of a medical professional is preventable. When a doctor fails to diagnose maternal or fetal distress, for example, the resulting birth injury is almost always preventable.