Chorioamnionitis is a serious complication during labor that may result in serious, irreversible injuries to the mother and child at birth. Affecting approximately 10% of pregnancies, this condition is also known as intra-amniotic infection (IAI). Chorioamnionitis is characterized by inflammation and infection of the fetal membranes (amnion and chorion) due to a bacterial infection. This intrauterine infection typically occurs when bacteria ascends from the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. This condition is most often associated with prolonged labor.
Maternal fever is the most important clinical sign of chorioamnionitis. A temperature greater than 100.4°F is considered abnormal in pregnancy. Chorioamnionitis is most commonly diagnosed based on clinical signs, which should be discovered by the physician during examination. Findings of rapid heart rate (maternal tachycardia and/or fetal tachycardia), a mother’s elevated white blood cell count (leukocytosis), uterine tenderness, and/or malodorous amniotic fluid or vaginal discharge can also aid in diagnosing chorioamnionitis. However, accessing the amniotic fluid or the placenta for culture can be invasive and is sometimes dangerous.
Carefully monitoring the mother’s temperature, especially when labor is prolonged, is an effective way to avoid this potentially deadly complication. A timely diagnosis, with prompt antibiotic treatment and delivery may help reduce the potentially devastating outcome of maternal and neonatal infections. If left untreated, chorioamnionitis can cause sepsis, premature birth and brain damage in babies affected.
The cost of care for a child with cerebral palsy, or any birth injury, is very high. If your child’s birth injury was caused by chorioamnionitis or other intrauterine infection, 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. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.