Pregnancy Infections: Symptoms, Treatment & Medical Malpractice

Some women must deal with pregnancy infections, many of which are minor. However, some may be serious and even life-threatening for the mother and the baby. 

Infections during pregnancy can cause many complications including: 

  • pneumonia;
  • brain damage;
  • premature labor;
  • developmental delays; and
  • even death.

If the infection isn’t addressed properly or a doctor causes the infection, an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland can assist clients in holding the liable party responsible. 

Group B Streptococcus 

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is among the most common life-threatening pregnancy infections for newborns. Up to 25 percent of pregnant women are considered asymptomatic carriers of GBS and most of these women don’t even know they have the disease.

GBS can cause a host of medical problems in women, including: 

  • abscesses in the pelvis;
  • urinary tract infections;
  • meningitis; and
  • cystitis, though only around one percent of women with GBS have symptoms.

If the baby shows signs of GBS infection after birth, these symptoms may be associated with pneumonia, meningitis or sepsis. Babies who survive face the risk of vision loss, hearing problems and developmental delays.

Pregnant women who are carriers of GBS may be given penicillin during labor and delivery to prevent transmission of the disease to the fetus. If the mother is allergic to these medications, she may be given other medications as alternatives. If a doctor fails to test for or treat this infection, an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer may help Cleveland mothers with any legal action if they or their child is harmed.


Women who have syphilis may transmit the infection to the child. When a mother has a pregnancy infection like syphilis and fails to manage it, rate of fetal infection increases, as do the health risks for the baby. Stillbirth and late abortion may result from an untreated case of syphilis.

The earlier treatment of the infection during the pregnancy is administered, the better the chance of avoiding serious injury to the baby. The mother may be screened for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases as well if syphilis is detected. Penicillin is the only drug that can be used to treat syphilis in pregnant women. If a woman is allergic to penicillin, measures may be taken that could allow the drug to be administered. 


Listeriosis is a rare pregnancy infection, but it can be very serious. It is caused by eating contaminated food. Pregnant women are 13 times more likely to contract listeriosis than women who are not pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The infection causes flu-like symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and nausea. Many women have no symptoms.

Even though the symptoms of this pregnancy infection appear mild, the damage can be serious. It can cause the baby to be born prematurely and infected. Infection of the fetus may result in septicemia, meningoencephalitis, and other serious complications. Those who test positive for listeriosis are given antibiotics to reduce the spread of the infection to the baby. 

Urinary Tract Infections 

Although a urinary tract infection may not be so serious for a woman who is not pregnant, it can be a potentially dangerous pregnancy infection. When the urinary tract develops an infection during pregnancy, it can result in asymptomatic bacteriuria.

Urinary tract infections may cause the baby to be born premature and it can also lead to: 

  • maternal anemia;
  • low birth weight; and
  • hypertension.

Urinary tract infections are often treated with antibiotics.

Contacting an Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Cleveland 

Failure to provide proper care may be considered medical negligence and could result in filing a claim in Ohio with a medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland for injuries related to infections during pregnancy. 

Failing to provide proper care can include: 

  • neglecting to address known infections;
  • not screening for infection; and
  • actually causing infection.

Mellino Robenalt LLC can help clients understand their legal options following an injury related to infection during pregnancy. Contact them at 440-333-3800 and order the free book Was it A Mistake? Your Ohio Medical Malpractice Questions Answered. Families dealing with complications of pregnancy infections related to malpractice can set up a free consultation to speak with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland.