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Meningitis is a dangerous infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Some infections are contracted soon after birth when a newborn’s immune system is still immature and unable to fight infection.
Doctors will usually test fluid samples and run blood tests and cultures from the infant and often the mother to diagnose the infection.
There can be severe consequences if infection in a newborn is not timely diagnosed and properly treated. SEPSIS: This is a serious infection that involves the spread of germs throughout the blood and tissues.
MENINGITIS: This is inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord and is a very serious infection in newborns. ENCEPHALITIS:  Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by a virus, most often herpes simplex virus (“genital herpes”).
To minimize the risk of transmission to the baby, pregnant women must be tested prenatally for the herpes simplex virus and treated appropriately. To diagnose encephalitis in infants, doctors will typically run blood tests, do a CT scan, MRI, an EEG, and sometimes a spinal tap. PNEUMONIA: This bacterial lung infection can cause pulmonary changes, destruction of bronchopulmonary tissue, respiratory distress, respiratory failure, and can develop into sepsis. If neonatal infection is not diagnosed and treated right away, it can lead to these and other very serious acute infections which can have devastating results. To find out if you are eligible for compensation, contact our Detroit attorneys handling newborn infection cases in Michigan, Ohio, Washington DC and throughout the nation.
So watch this for everything you need to know from causes and symptoms to treatment and prevention. Babies born with infections may become very sick and may require significant time in the hospital for recovery. Many other infections are transmitted to the baby through the mother and the delivery process. Babies can get viral infections such as herpes simplex virus, chickenpox (varicella virus), Rubella virus, or the hepatitis virus.

Treatment for most infections includes antibiotics or antiviral medications as well as supportive care (intravenous (IV) fluids, oxygen or a breathing machine, and other medicines). If a pregnant woman has the virus, she can pass it to her baby through the infected birth canal. A pregnant woman with the virus should receive an antiviral medication such as acyclovir around 36 weeks and during labor.  Women experiencing active lesions around the time of delivery – whether it’s a primary outbreak or recurrent – must have a c-section to reduce the chances of transmission to the infant. Herpes encephalitis is extremely dangerous to a newborn and so doctors will generally begin medication without waiting for confirmatory results. Diagnosis is done through blood cultures, tracheal aspirate, chest x-ray, and pulse oximetry. A child may be left with permanent seizures, cerebral palsy, blindness, cognitive impairments, deafness, developmental delays, speech delays, language delays, or even death. Most babies recover without significant long-term damage when the appropriate diagnosis and treatment is timely. Therefore, it is critical for maternal infection to be identified and promptly treated in order to protect the unborn child. A mother who experiences a first outbreak of the virus during the third trimester of pregnancy has a 33% chance of transmitting the virus to her baby. Treatment includes initial broad-spectrum antibiotics changed to organism-specific drugs once identified. Pregnant women should be tested for Group B Strep and prescribed antibiotics to prevent them from passing it on to the child.
A delay or misdiagnosis can mean serious and permanent mental and physical damage to the child and can even be fatal. However, the most common source of meningitis in the United States is Group B Streptococcus. For a pregnant woman who has had herpes simplex for a while and experiences a recurrent outbreak of genital herpes, the risk of transmission is about 3%. The prognosis for infants with encephalitis depends on the severity of the case, strength of the newborn’s immune system, and the timing of the diagnosis and treatment.
We understand the complex legal issues involved with newborn meningitis, encephalitis, sepsis, and pneumonia cases and will help you to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

If a newborn has meningitis, it is formally diagnosed using a spinal tap and treated in the NICU. About 80% of all women who are infected with the herpes simplex virus will have a recurrence during their pregnancy.
Those with mild cases may recover without any problems while more severe cases can result in lifelong mental and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and seizures.
Typically, newborns with signs and symptoms of infection are treated prophylactically with antibiotics before the diagnosis is made.
We’ll provide you with a free case evaluation with our expert medical malpractice attorneys. If the tests are positive, antibiotics are prescribed and the baby is monitored very closely in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10-30% of pregnant women carry Group B Strep which can potentially lead to neonatal meningitis. Pregnant women previously infected have an average of about 3 recurrences during pregnancy.
The prognosis for properly treated newborns is good with little to no residual physical or mental problems. Pregnant women should be tested prenatally for Group B Strep so that the mother may be appropriately treated. Those that test positive should also receive antibiotics during delivery to avoid passing Group B Strep to their baby. Pre-term infants with sepsis are noted to have higher rates of cognitive deficits, cerebral palsy, and other neurological disabilities.

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04.12.2014, author: admin

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