Atlanta Attorney Discusses Pregnancy Infections and Risks to Baby
An infection during pregnancy that leads to hospitalization increases a child’s risk of autism, depression and suicide later in life, according to a new report.
While previous research found that infections caused by specific pathogens can harm the baby’s developing brain, the new findings reveal that any type of infection during pregnancy might lead to autism or depression later in life for the child. Even a relatively mild condition, such as a urinary tract infection, increases the risk for the baby.
UW Medicine reported on the findings, citing a study published in March 2019 by JAMA Psychiatry.
Researchers studied hospital records of nearly 1.8 million people born in Sweden between 1973-2014. They examined the child’s development from birth through age 41.
One of the leaders of the research, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the UW School of Medicine, found that parts of the brain of the fetus are “exquisitely vulnerable” to harm from infection. Areas that control the social and emotional functioning are especially impacted, according to the UW Medicine article.
What are common infections during pregnancy
As experienced attorneys, we know that common birth-related infections, including herpes and hepatitis B and C, can increase the risk of harm to the baby. Prior studies have linked infections caused by specific pathogens to a host of birth injuries such as microcephaly, physical disabilities and cognitive problems.
Common infections that could develop during pregnancy include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Vaginal yeast infection
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Group B streptococcus
Other serious conditions include hepatitis E, listeria (which can cause food poisoning), measles and influenza.
The doctor who worked on the study urges women to get the flu shot, which is safe. A responsible obstetrician will recommend the vaccine if you haven’t received the shot.
What to do if you’ve experienced an infection while pregnant
If you get an infection, or suspect you have one, tell your doctor immediately. Competent doctors will know to take appropriate action as soon as they determine the mother is fighting an infection. This might involve prescribing antibiotics or other drugs for the mother.
Keep in mind that your infection may not have a harmful effect on your baby, but the link nevertheless is significant. The study finds that people whose mothers were hospitalized due to an infection faced a 79 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with autism and a 24 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with depression.
If your child has been diagnosed with HIE (Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy), Cerebral Palsy, Sepsis, or Brain Injury, and you were hospitalized with an infection during pregnancy, contact an experienced attorney to explore your options. Your doctor may claim to have done all he or she could do to avoid what happened to your child, but that might not be true. Medical professionals typically deny that they made any errors.
We can help. We can conduct a thorough investigation to get to the truth. Don’t let doctors and insurance companies bully you into accepting less than you and your family deserve. Contact the birth injury lawyers at Tyrone Law Firm, PC today.