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Maternal infections can result in severe birth injuries

Expecting mothers often rely on their doctors to keep them healthy throughout their pregnancies to ensure that their babies are born healthy. However, if a doctor fails to diagnose a maternal infection it can travel through the mother's body and cause the baby to suffer a serious birth injury.

There are many reasons why a pregnant woman may be at risk for maternal infections. During pregnancy, a mother's immune system changes significantly to protect both mother and baby. However, because an expecting mother's immune system works in overdrive to protect both the mother and the baby, the woman may be more susceptible to infections while pregnant. In addition to changes in one's immune system, the hormonal changes an expecting mother experiences often affects the urinary tract and can increase the likelihood of urinary tract infections and yeast infections. A woman's lungs are also more susceptible to infections like pneumonia, as they contain additional fluid during pregnancy.

Some of the infections expectant mothers face are minor, particularly if diagnosed and treated immediately. However, many infections pose a risk to mothers and their babies. Some of the most harmful infections may include rubella (German Measles), chicken pox, Group B Strep, syphilis, listeriosis, toxoplasmosis, and HIV. These infections can be contracted in a number of ways including through food and water, insects, sexual contact, blood, air, and direct skin contact.

Maryland doctors are required to monitor their patients carefully and perform routine tests to rule out these infections if a patient exhibits symptoms. If a doctor fails to properly diagnose and treat a patient, then one of these infections could spread to the baby and cause severe problems. As a result of one of these infections, a newborn baby may experience neurological issues, vision loss, cerebral palsy, seizures, brain damage, and in the worst case scenarios, stillbirth or neonatal death. If your baby was harmed as a result of infection that was improperly diagnosed or treated, a medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you file a claim against the doctor who failed to diagnose or treat you in a timely fashion.

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