Group B streptococcus (GBS), is a bacterium that can cause serious infections in newborn babies. It is one of many types of streptococcal bacteria, commonly referred to as “strep.” Approximately one in three to four pregnant women in the US carries GBS. It is found in the lower part of the digestive system (colon) and/or in the vagina.
GBS is not harmful to healthy adults but is extremely dangerous for newborn infants when found in pregnant women. Signs and symptoms of neonatal GBS are often very difficult to detect. Newborns who are infected with GBS can develop pneumonia (lung infection), sepsis and septic shock (systemic infection, with or without organ failure), meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), and septicemia (blood infection).
Complications associated with neonatal GBS can be prevented by giving an intravenous antibiotic during labor to any woman whose baby is at risk of GBS infection. These women can be identified by bacteriological screening, involving taking swabs from the vagina and rectum, or by risk-factor-based screening. All pregnant women should be screened for GBS.
Your newborn baby is at risk of GBS infection if, during your pregnancy:
- You have a urine culture during your current pregnancy showing GBS
- You have a vaginal and rectal swab culture during your current pregnancy showing GBS
- You had a prior pregnancy during which you or your baby had GBS
Therefore, it is important that your medical provider tests for this type of infection to avoid an otherwise preventable birth injury. If GBS is diagnosed and not treated during pregnancy, it is medical negligence.
If you or a loved one feel you are the victim of a medical mistake contact The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (800-403-7259). When you call, you will speak with an experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice attorney absolutely FREE.
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