Amniotic fluid helps nourish and protect fetuses while they develop. If amniotic fluid and fetal membranes become infected, though, it can lead to catastrophic birth injuries. If caught early, intraamniotic infection, also known as chorioamnionitis, can be treated, but doctors frequently neglect to observe the symptoms of chorioamnionitis until it is too late. If your child suffered harm at birth because of chorioamnionitis, you might be able to recover compensation from your health care provider, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Baltimore birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are mindful of the devastation families suffer when their children unnecessarily suffer harm due to the negligence of health care providers, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek justice for your losses.Causes of Chorioamnionitis
Chorioamnionitis, or intraamniotic infection, is a bacterial infection of the membranes surrounding the fetus and the amniotic fluid. Generally, chorioamnionitis is caused by bacteria in the mother's vagina traveling towards the uterus and developing into an infection. Signs of chorioamnionitis include fever, rapid heartbeat, and abnormal vaginal discharge. First-time mothers, pregnant women under the age of 21, and women who experience unusually lengthy labor are at increased risk of developing chorioamnionitis. The risk of chorioamnionitis also increases in mothers who use alcohol or tobacco, and with an increase in the number of vaginal examinations in the final months of pregnancy. Chorioamnionitis can cause an inflammatory response, which can lead to premature birth and prolonged labor. The inflammatory response can also lead to periventricular leukomalacia, or PVL, which is an injury to the white matter of the brain, cerebral palsy, chronic lung disorders, meningitis, and in some cases, death.Compensation for Harm Caused by Chorioamnionitis
A doctor that fails to offer a patient suffering from chorioamnionitis a prompt and accurate diagnosis and appropriate care may be held accountable for any harm subsequently suffered by the patient's child at birth. Generally, a plaintiff pursuing damages for a birth injury will allege a negligence claim against the defendant.
In Maryland medical malpractice cases, establishing negligence requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to provide the plaintiff with treatment that comports with the standard of care, which is the care that a competent practitioner working in the same specialty would provide in a similar situation. The plaintiff then has to show that the defendant's acts or failure to act demonstrate a breach of the standard. As most judges and people who would serve on juries do not have independent knowledge regarding the standard of care that applies to doctors, the plaintiff will most likely have to hire an expert to explain the standard of care that applies to the defendant and the manner in which the defendant deviated from the standard.
Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant's departure from the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer harm. In other words, the plaintiff has to establish that the defendant's failure to abide by the standard of care caused the birth injury in question. In many instances, a defendant in a birth injury case will argue that the harm suffered was inevitable or was caused by a factor other than his or her negligence. As such, expert testimony may be needed to link the plaintiff's harm to the defendant's breach of the standard of care as well.Speak to an Experienced Baltimore Attorney
While most infections contracted during pregnancy are treatable, when they are not addressed in a timely manner, it can lead to grave harm. If your child suffered an injury at birth because of chorioamnionitis, it is advisable to speak to an attorney about your potential claims. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to hold reckless health care providers accountable for the damages they cause, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly in pursuit of a favorable outcome. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent people in birth injury cases. You can contact us via our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.