For women who suffer from contagious infections during pregnancy, proper prenatal care is of the utmost importance. Proper prenatal care can help to ensure that the baby does not contract the contagious disease and that the health of both mother and baby are maintained during the gestation and birthing phases. When proper prenatal care is not exercised, though, mom and baby may suffer harm. The following considers prenatal care required when the mother is suffering from a contagious disease, and examples of negligence that may lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit for damages.
Types of Contagious Disease that Require Thorough Monitoring During Pregnancy
A pregnant woman may have a contagious disease at the time of the baby’s conception or may incur a contagious disease during the course of the pregnancy. If a mother suffers from a contagious disease, though, proper care and monitoring is essential. The following is a list of contagious diseases that may affect pregnancy and should be monitored.
- Chicken pox
- UTI (urinary tract infection)
- Congenital CMV
- Bacterial vaginosis
The above – while a thorough list – does not list all of the contagious diseases that may affect a pregnancy. All contagious diseases should be monitored.
Reducing the Risk of Contagious Disease Transmission
Taking steps to reduce the risk of a baby acquiring a contagious disease from the mother during a pregnancy and birth is critical. For example, a woman who has HIV/AIDS and is pregnant should take HIV medicines to reduce the risk of transmission to the child. On the other hand, a woman who suffers from congenital CMV and is pregnant should not take CMV medications – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that CMV medications have serious side effects, do not prevent against fetal infection and are not approved for use by pregnant women. Precautions taken for herpes and pregnancy include ensuring that birth occurs at a time when the mother is not “shedding virus,” or is having a herpes outbreak. Each contagious disease has its own set of facts and medications that must be taken into consideration when treating a pregnant woman.
When a Prenatal Care Provider Fails to Take Action
When a prenatal care provider fails to take the proper action to prevent a baby from acquiring a contagious disease or acts negligently by treating a woman with a contagious disease in a way that could cause fetal harm – like giving medication for congenital CMV – the healthcare provider may be liable for all damages. This is because doctors and prenatal care providers have a duty to provide their patients with the highest standard of care possible and a standard that is accepted by the medical community at large.
Can I file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a prenatal care provider?
A medical malpractice lawsuit can yield damages for harm caused to a mother or baby if it can be proven that the health care provider did something that breached the standard of care mentioned above. In Pennsylvania, Section 5524 of Pennsylvania Code requires that all claims for damages be filed in two years’ time. For assistance in understanding your rights and filing your claim, a medical malpractice attorney is a valuable asset.
Contact a Prenatal Care Attorney Today
Filing a lawsuit against your doctor isn’t something that anyone wants to do. But, when harm to your baby has occurred because of negligent prenatal care, a lawsuit can be the answer to recovering the money that you need to give your baby the treatment required. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys understand what you’re going through and want to get started helping you today. Call us now at 215-642-2335.