Group B strep is a form of bacteria found normally in the gastrointestinal tract, vagina, and rectal region in 15%-45% of women. The majority of women with a Group B strep infection or GBS have no signs or symptoms. It typically has no complications for the carrier. If it is not detected an untreated in a pregnant woman the result could be catastrophic. It can be deadly or cause catastrophic injuries if passed to an infant during delivery. That is why routine screening for Group B Strep is recommended in pregnant woman. A Group B test should be administered prior to delivery. The diagnosis of GBS infection is can be made by a simple prenatal test at your physician's office. The treatment is a course of antibiotic therapy. If untreated and an infant contracts the infection they could suffer sepsis, pneumonia, brain injuries or death.
A federal judge in Chicago recently upheld a medical malpractice verdict to award the family of an 8-year-old quadriplegic $29 million. The court ruled that Christian Arroyo's cerebral palsy could have easily been prevented. It occurred as a result of doctors' negligence to identify a “B Strep” infection after birth. Christian was delivered at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and was cared for by doctors from Chicago's Erie Family Health Center. Due to the physician's negligence in failure to detect the infection, Christian suffered severe and permanent brain injuries. It he had been diagnosed and treated as per the standard of care, it is likely that the brain injuries suffered would have been reduced.
GBS, typically poses no threat to its carrier, but can put unborn children at severe risk for serious infection (especially those born prematurely). “B Strep” is usually passed on while a baby is in the birth canal, and is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns. Christian, who was born nearly a month premature exhibited many of the symptoms of having a GBS infection. Signs and symptoms of Group B Strep can include fever, respiratory problems, feeding difficulties and lethargy. According to Christian's lawyer, the boy had many signs and symptoms of the GBS infection.
This child's brain injuries were caused by a failure to diagnosis and treat a simple GBS infection. The mother could have been tested and treated. Or the infant's symptoms could have been identified by a health care provider at the hospital and treated. Either way a simple course of antibiotic therapy could have saved this child a life time of permanent injury.
As a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, we have handled many cases that have involved both medical malpractice and personal injury claims for children. We have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for victims. If your child or someone you know has suffered a birth injury it is important that the family contact an experienced personal injury attorney. You should choose an attorney that has experience and knowledge handling injuries to children.