Getting an infection whilst pregnant can be risky, for you and your baby. There are lots of types of infection that can occur. Some are tested for when you first become pregnant to make sure you’re not carrying anything harmful to your baby. Others can develop during your pregnancy from being exposed to different types of bacteria or toxins, and can be passed on to your baby.
Often, getting an infection is unavoidable and prompt action by your doctor to prescribe antibiotics is all that is needed. Sometimes however, the infection isn’t picked up on as quickly as it should be, particularly during labour itself. If you start to feel unwell with a high temperature, the doctors and midwives should check you over as if left, the infection can start to affect your baby. There is also the possibility of an infection being passed to your baby during birth itself, when all of sudden the protective atmosphere inside the womb has gone and the baby’s own immune system has to take over but might not be strong enough.
If there is a delay in giving you the right kind of antibiotics, especially after your waters have broken and your baby is even more exposed to any nasty germs lurking around, infection can set in and cause inflammation in your baby’s brain. Sometimes this causes permanent brain damage.
Some babies, particularly if born prematurely or with other health complications and so need to stay in hospital, can contract an infection in the newborn period. Again, if the infection is not recognised and treated soon enough, it can spread and cause damage to the cells in the brain, leading to life-changing disabilities. Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is one type of particularly nasty infection that, although thankfully relatively rare, mostly affects premature babies and if left untreated or poorly treated for too long, can lead to damage to the brain as the infection spreads.
Our solicitors have acted for children who have suffered devastating brain injuries because of undiagnosed and untreated infections. If you have a similar story which has caused your child to suffer a brain injury, our lawyers have the expertise to get to the bottom of things and find out if your child is entitled to make a claim for compensation.