My infant suffered from meningitis. Is that a birth injury? Can my child make a legal recovery?

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An infant is treated in the hospital for meningitisIt depends on how your child contracted meningitis. If your child has developed meningitis because a doctor, nurse, or hospital was negligent, then your child may have suffered a birth injury and may be able to make a legal recovery.

Meningitis Is a Dangerous Condition

Meningitis is a virus or a bacterial infection that spreads to the membranes around the spinal cord and brain and causes inflammation. It is a very serious medical condition that can result in brain damage or death. While treatments are available, an accurate and prompt diagnosis of meningitis may be difficult in newborns.

The symptoms of infant meningitis include fever, sleepiness, and difficulty eating. These symptoms can also be signs of other more common conditions and doctors may be hesitant to perform a lumbar puncture or spinal tap to test for meningitis. Other symptoms, such as confusion and stiff neck may be difficult to ascertain in infants. Therefore, there can be a dangerous delay in diagnosing meningitis among newborns

But Infant Meningitis May Have Been Preventable

While there are many causes of meningitis, many cases of infant meningitis are caused by exposure to group B strep and E. coli. Pregnant women may have group B strep infections without any symptoms or knowledge that they have the infection. Accordingly, pregnant women should be tested—typically between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy—to determine if they have group B strep. If the test is positive for group B strep, then the mother should be treated with antibiotics to decrease the risk of passing the infection to her child during birth.

The failure to test or to treat group B strep or the failure to diagnose an E. coli infection and watch for signs of meningitis in the newborn may result in a birth injury that could have been prevented with reasonable care and the doctor, or other medical provider, may be liable for damages resulting from the infant’s meningitis infection.

What To Do If Your Infant is Diagnosed With Meningitis

If your newborn has meningitis, then it is important to find out why and to take action to protect your child’s right to a fair recovery for any injuries that he has sustained.

You can learn more about birth injury cases in Kentucky by downloading our free guide, Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury to Your Child Happens in Kentucky.

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.