Mothers who have genital herpes may pass the herpes infection to their newborn babies during birth. However, the spread of this potentially dangerous infection is not inevitable.
How Babies Contract Herpes During Birth
Babies are most at risk of contracting herpes simplex virus (HSV) when their mothers either have an active case of genital herpes or their mothers first got herpes while they were pregnant. Doctors may help protect babies from HSV by:
- Getting an accurate medical history from the mother and examining the mother for signs of an active herpes outbreak.
- Prescribing medicines such as Zovirax or Valtrex to the mother beginning around the 36th week of pregnancy.
- Recommending a C-section delivery to prevent the baby from touching any active herpes lesions during a vaginal delivery.
The failure to review these options with a mother and to get the mother’s informed consent about treatment and delivery could be considered medical negligence if it results in a birth injury.
How Herpes Affects Newborn Babies
A baby with herpes may have a skin infection, a systemic infection, or both. Systemic herpes can be life-threatening for newborn babies and may result in:
- Brain damage
- Breathing issues
- Kidney problems
- Eye issues, including blindness
- Liver problems
- Central nervous system issues
If you notice any kind of rash, difficulty feeding, or other symptoms that concern you, it is important to take your child to the doctor as soon as possible.
What to Do If Your Baby Suffers Herpes Because of Medical Negligence
Currently, herpes can be treated, but it cannot be cured. Your baby will likely require medication and will live with this chronic condition for the rest of his life.
Has Your Family Been Impacted by a Birth Injury?
If your family has been impacted by a birth injury you need to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.