Infection after Birth: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

In some cases, infection after birth may be prevented with some basic precautions, but not all medical professionals consistently adhere to the health and hygiene rules that may help avoid infections. This is particularly dangerous when the patients involved are a new mother and her infant.

In cases of medical malpractice in Cleveland, an attorney can help new mothers or a child’s parents pursue compensation for their damages through a claim for medical malpractice in Ohio.

Infection Risks for New Mothers 

Women who undergo Caesarean sections may be at higher risk for infection after birth because surgery in general raises a person’s infection risk. A C-section requires doctors to cut through the abdominal area and through the uterus as well, so the infection may occur in the uterus, at the site of the abdominal scar, or at other areas in the pelvic region.

While C-section patients are at an increased risk, they are by no means the only new moms who can get an infection after birth. Infections can happen at the site of any wound, tear, or incision, whether it happens naturally or surgically. Women who have episiotomies or who tear during delivery are at risk for infection, as are those who experience injuries to their cervix or uterus during a difficult childbirth.

Complete delivery of the placenta is another important part of avoiding post-partum infections. Sometimes, the placenta may become strongly attached to the uterine wall so that it does not come out after the baby is delivered. If the placenta is retained it can cause infection because it is no longer needed for sustaining the baby and becomes foreign matter to the body.

In deliveries that require interventions like a C-section or an epidural, the mother may be catheterized. Catheterization can sometimes cause urinary tract and bladder infections, especially when the catheter is inserted improperly or sterile handling measures are not taken.

Mothers suffering from infections will usually run a fever and have pain, swelling and discharge from the affected area. They will need to be treated with antibiotics and have the source of the infection treated. If a doctor does not treat an infection properly or if the cause of the infection is related to medical malpractice, a Cleveland attorney can help pursue compensation for damages.

Infections in Newborns 

The mother is not the only one who can suffer from infections after delivery; newborn babies can also contract infections under certain circumstances, including medical malpractice in Ohio if proper steps are not taken in the nursery to prevent infection.

Newborns have fragile immune systems that are not yet able to put up a strong fight against viruses and bacteria. When a newborn has an infection shortly following birth, it is sometimes one that passed from the mother during pregnancy. In other cases, the infection is something the baby picked up from the hospital environment.

Premature infants are at much higher risk for hospital-acquired respiratory and skin infections: 

  • staph;
  • E. coli; and
  • fungal infections.

Babies who get infections can also run a fever and have breathing problems, pain and difficulty nursing. The baby will likely need to be kept in the neonatal ward for a time while the infection is treated. Failure to properly address an infection after birth may be considered medical malpractice, and a Cleveland attorney may call on expert witnesses to explore the care provided by the doctor.

Addressing Medical Malpractice in Ohio with a Cleveland Attorney 

Both mothers and babies can suffer serious complications and even death from untreated infection. After contracting an infection that caused serious or fatal complications, victims may have grounds for medical malpractice in Cleveland.

An attorney can evaluate the case and help decide the best course of action; he or she will also represent your best interests and seek the compensation you deserve in a claim for medical malpractice in Ohio.

Mellino Robenalt LLC can help mothers or families dealing with troublesome infection related to medical malpractice in Ohio. Call 440-333-3800 to discuss medical malpractice with a Cleveland attorney if negligence is related to the cause of an infection after birth, or its worsening because of failure to properly treat it.