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16 Oct 2009

Group B streptococcus (GBS) & Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

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Our Michigan birth injury lawyers handle cases involving Group B streptococcus.  This is a bacterial infection that can cause significant injury and damage to a newborn.  There are occasions in which this infection should have diagnosed and treated earlier and harm to the newborn could have been prevented.  In those circumstances, there may be a child birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit.

Group B streptococcus (GBS) – Fact File

 

Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a kind of bacterial infection found in pregnant woman’s rectum or vagina. The bacteria commonly occurs in the lower intestine or vagina of 15-40% of all healthy women.

Women who are tested positive for Group B streptococcus (GBS) are called colonized. During delivery, GBS can be passed to the newborn. In the United States, GBS affects 1 in every 2,000 newborns. However, it is not necessary for every baby born to a mother who is GBS positive to become ill.

While Group B streptococcus (GBS) is quite rare in pregnant women, it can have severe consequences. For this reason, physicians commonly test pregnant women for GBS as a routine part of the prenatal care.

Diagnosis of Group B streptococcus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine screening for vaginal strep B for every pregnant woman. The screening is commonly performed between the thirty-fifth and thirty-seventh week of pregnancy as this is the most significant time to see if the woman carries GBS at the time of delivery.

In order to perform the test, a swab of vagina and rectum is taken to the lab where it is analyzed for GBS presence. Results are normally handed over in 1-2 days.

Positive results of Group B streptococcus

Anyone who tests positive for Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a carrier. It is not necessary for a child to become ill if the mother carries GBS. According to estimates, one of every 100-200 babies will develop symptoms of GBS disease if all their mothers carry GBS. Some symptoms, however, do indicate that you run a greater risk of passing GBS to your baby.

These include:

  • Rupture of membrane or labor before 37 weeks
  • Rupture of membrane 18  hours prior to delivery
  • Fever during labor
  • Urinary tract infection during pregnancy due to GBS
  • Previous delivery wherein GBS was passed to baby

 

In any of these cases, your physician would prescribe antibiotics for prevention of passing GBS.

According to CDC estimates, if you carry Group B streptococcus (GBS), but are not at high risk of passing it on, then the chances of having GBS delivered to the baby are:

  • 1 in 200 if antibiotics are not consumed
  • 1 in 4,000 if antibiotics are consumed

It may affect a child socially, academically, and vocationally throughout childhood and even into adulthood.  The child may require physical therapy, medical procedures, and other services that can be a significant expense over the course of his or her lifetime.  These types of damage requests are included in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed for the condition.

Contact a Michigan Group B streptococcus Malpractice Lawyer

If an infant suffers injuries because a medical condition was not timely diagnosed and treated, it can give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit.  Birth injuries can affect the social, academic and vocational upbringing of the infant. These often require services that amount to a significant expense over a child’s lifetime and are sought as damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

It is essential to contact a malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so that we can obtain your child’s complete medical chart to determine whether there was negligence involved in the treatment. Call (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our top rated Michigan birth injury attorneys about your group B streptococcus malpractice case.   There are strict time delays for filing medical malpractice lawsuits in Michigan so it is essential to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to see if your child has valid case.

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