Understanding Serious GBS Infections
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is the #1 cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies. GBS is typically found in the lower intestine or vagina of healthy women. During labor a baby can become infected and the bacteria enter an infant's blood stream—resulting in meningitis, shock, or pneumonia.
GBS infections can cause serious brain damage resulting in:
- Mental and physical disabilities
- Damages to the lungs
- Loss of sight and hearing
Doctors should routinely screen for GBS; if the mother tests positive, antibiotics can all but eliminate the threat. At Hampton & King, our medical malpractice attorneys understand how confusing and overwhelming this time may be. When you trust you case to us, we work to expose deviations from standard treatment protocols, lack of communication, and negligence on the part of doctors and nurses that contribute to medical complications.
If you or your baby has suffered serious due to the mismanagement of group B strep, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Risk Factors That Should Alert Doctors to a Potential GBS Infection
When doctors or nurses encounter certain risk factors associated with group B streptococcus, preventative measures should be undertaken to protect both the mother and her baby. In general, the risk of GBS infection increases in the following situations:
- Premature labor
- The mother has a history of GBS
- The mother has a temperature in excess of 100.4 degrees
- There was a rupture of membranes prior to the birth of a child
To prevent Group B streptococcus, antibiotics can be administered to the mother intravenously during labor. Use of antibiotics can reduce the likelihood of a GBS infection after birth and in the first week of life. Use of oral antibiotics is not as effective since oral antibiotics may only decrease the amount of group B strep for a short period of time rather than eradicating the bacteria altogether.