What is Group B Streptococcus or GBS?
Group B streptococcal or GBS is a serious bacterial infection. In newborns, this infection can lead to death and disability. The GBS bacteria usually reside in the intestines, rectum and vagina. During childbirth, it can be passed to the baby by the mother.
Usually the transmission of GBS from the pregnant mother to the baby is preventable. This means that birth injuries from the horrible infections resulting from GBS can be avoided.
Symptoms and Complications
Symptoms of group B strep may include:
- High or low body temperature
- High respiratory rate
- Low energy level
- Trouble in feeding
Newborns infected with group B strep may:
- Get a Blood infection (sepsis)
- Get a Lung infection (pneumonia)
- Get an infection of the fluid or tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
- Pass away
Group B Streptococcus can be dormant in a woman at any time. It might be present in the first pregnancy, or following pregnancies. Usually its presence in a woman is harmless, but in pregnancy it is a threat. The following are the risk factors that increase the chances that an infant may develop Group B Streptococcus:
- Mothers who have previously given birth to a GBS infected baby are at 10 times the risk.
- GBS detected in a mother at any time of pregnancy increases the risk 4 times.
- Preterm or early labor, i.e. water breaking before 37 weeks of pregnancy, the risk increases 3 times in such a situation.
- Prolonged labor, i.e. more than 18 hours duration from water breaking to delivery, this increases the risk by 3 times.
- High body temperature (37.8°C or higher) of the mother during labor increases the risk by 3 times. High temperature has less significance in women who are given epidurals as compared to women not on epidurals.
- Women having GBS and one or more risk factors combined are at a 12 times higher risk.
Our Group B Strep Lawyers Can Help
If a doctor failed to diagnose and treat GBS and your child has been severely injured as a result, you should consult our Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at The Pisanchyn Law Firm as you could receive compensation and bring the medical professionals involved to justice. Consultation and legal representation for PA birth injury cases is free until we win your case, and even then you will never pay out of pocket, we will only be paying you the money you deserve.
We know and understand that money and financial rewards could never give your baby a clean bill of health again, but someone needs to be held accountable for the tragedy they have imposed on you and your family. We want to be here for you during this difficult time, please, if your child has suffered a birth injury due to a medical provider’s negligence, call our Pennsylvania birth injury lawyers now toll free at 1-800-444-5309 for a free consultation. We have offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton and will travel to you.