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Group B Streptococcus

Syracuse Lawyers Representing Families Harmed by Birth Injuries

Group B streptococcal, also known as group B strep or GBS, is a significant bacterial infection that can result in injury, disability, and death. The GBS bacteria usually live in the rectum, vagina, and intestines. As a child is being born, the mother who harbors this bacteria may pass it along to the baby being born. In most cases, the transmission of group B streptococcus can be prevented. If your child suffered harm due to group B streptococcus you may be able to recover damages. You can consult the seasoned Syracuse birth injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano to determine whether you have a basis to sue.

Symptoms and Complications of Group B Strep

Group B strep carries a number of different symptoms. It can manifest as irritability, low energy feeding, high body temperature, low body temperature, high respiratory rate, and difficulty eating. When a newborn has group B strep, he or she may not only have these symptoms, but also suffer a blood infection, infection of brain and spinal cord tissues, or a lung infection. Birth injuries arising out of the infection can include brain damage, meningitis, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, seizure disorders, and death.

Risk Factors

A pregnant woman can have group B strep at any point in the pregnancy. In most cases, simply carrying this bacteria causes no problems, but if you carry it during pregnancy, it can be dangerous. Risk factors in pregnancy can include a mother who has previously given birth to a baby with group B strep because this increases the risk of the baby having it by ten times.


You can hold a health care provider liable for medical malpractice that causes birth injuries where you can show: (1) the health care provider owed you or your child a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Breach of the professional duty of care can happen at any point in the pregnancy. Generally, OB-GYNs should test a pregnant woman for group B strep during her third trimester. One test to detect it is the ECM test, in which a culture is taken. When group B strep is detected, preventative measures can be taken in a timely fashion to reduce the chances it will be transmitted to a baby. When antibiotics are administered intravenously, the results can be a reduction in the risk of transmitting a deadly infection to an infant.

In order to stop a child from contracting group B strep, a doctor can administer intravenous antibiotics to the mother during labor at least 4 hours prior to the delivery. Usually penicillin is used, but ampicillin can also be used. Whether the birth is a vaginal delivery or C-section shouldn’t impact whether a doctor proceeds with regard to administering the antibiotics. Administration of these drugs in a timely way could effectively prevent a baby from contracting group B strep and the complications associated with it.

When the appropriate prophylactic measures aren’t taken, a newborn could suffer from sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis. He or she could die. In order to hold a health care provider liable for birth injuries arising from group B strep, you and your lawyer will need to obtain a certificate of merit from a board-certified OB-GYN.


If your child suffers birth injuries such as developmental disabilities or brain damage due to a doctor or other healthcare provider’s failure to take appropriate measures to address group B strep during delivery, you may be able to recover economic and noneconomic losses arising out of that failure. These damages could include medical bills, long term care costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. If a baby dies because of a group B strep infection, it may be appropriate to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Consult a Seasoned Birth Injury Attorney in Syracuse

If your child was harmed by group B strep because your doctor or hospital staff in Syracuse didn’t test, or didn’t order antibiotics or take other preventative measures in relation to group B strep, you may be able to recover damages for any birth injuries that were caused by this failure. You can call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano about your situation. We represent patients and their families in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Canandaigua, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Binghamton, Herkimer, Wampsville, Utica, Oneida, Lowville, Elmira, Oswego, and Watertown. Call our firm at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.

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