If you develop chorioamnionitis during your pregnancy, and it goes undiagnosed or untreated, you may be able to recover damages for any losses sustained by you and the baby as a result. Chorioamnionitis is usually considered a medical emergency, and left untreated, it can result in complications like endometritis, bacteremia, blood clots in the pelvis and lungs, the need for a C-section, and heavy blood loss with delivery. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our experienced Syracuse birth injury attorneys may be able to help you recover damages.What is Chorioamnionitis?
Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection that happens before or during labor that results in inflammation of fetal membranes, the chorion and the amnion. It can occur when bacteria travel up the vagina and into the uterus, and it's usually related to prolonged labor. When a woman has chorioamnionitis, sepsis may present as tachycardia, fever, hypotension, uterine tenderness, clammy skin, and diaphoresis.
There are several risk factors for chorioamnionitis including first pregnancy, long labor, young maternal age, low socioeconomic status, membranes that are ruptured, multiple vaginal exams during labor, premature birth, and internal uterine or fetal monitoring. Chorioamnionitis can result in a preterm birth or a serious infection not only in the mother but also the baby. Most often it's caused by E. coli, anaerobic bacteria, and group B streptococci.Injuries
A chorioamnionitis infection can result in a baby getting only limited nutrients from the mother. Long-term birth injuries arising out of the inflammatory response may include hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy. Sometimes it compromises the capacity of the placenta to oxygenate the fetus.
Chorioamnionitis may necessitate a C-section being performed, and of those mothers who have a C-section, a certain percentage may face the wound for the C-section becoming infected, while a smaller percentage may develop a pelvic abscess. If the infection isn't diagnosed early enough that antibiotics can be administered, babies may face serious complications such as meningitis, bacteremia, and pneumonia, and these are extremely dangerous for preterm infants.Proving Birth Injury
Birth injury cases are a subset of medical malpractice cases. In order to recover for birth injuries such as those resulting from chorioamnionitis not being diagnosed and treated appropriately, you will need to prove: (1) a doctor-patient relationship between doctor and baby, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A breach of the professional duty of care may exist, for example, where there are risk factors for chorioamnionitis and visible abnormalities in the uterine cord or placenta, but the doctor fails to diagnose. Similarly, if there is a preterm premature rupture of the membranes, there is greater risk of chorioamnionitis (though sometimes it means there already is chorioamnionitis), and if the baby suffers injuries such as brain damage or nerve injuries due to a doctor's actions or omissions that fall below the professional duty of care, there may be liability.
It can be difficult to determine whether a doctor or staff member's failure to diagnose or treat fell below the professional standard of care. Your lawyer will need to retain an experienced and credible expert to look at questions like whether the doctor and staff properly monitored for signs of infection, and whether they followed up if they saw that there were signs. These issues can be especially complicated if an infection occurs during labor and delivery.Birth Injury Attorneys Serving Syracuse Residents
Chorioamnionitis can result in birth injuries for your baby. The medical bills may be significant, and parents may need to take time off work to handle their baby's complications. If you and your family are facing this situation, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can potentially help. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents injured babies and their parents in Syracuse, Rochester, Lyons, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Oswego, Utica, Watertown, Oneida, Lowville, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Norwich, Cooperstown, Oswego, Ithaca, Binghamton, Auburn, and Elmira. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.