Posted on 04/25/2022

Can you file a lawsuit for chorioamnionitis?

Can you file a lawsuit for chorioamnionitis?

Over ten thousand births happen in the United States every day.

While deliveries are practiced daily by obstetricians and health care providers, they are always a delicate process. And unfortunately, there’s a lot of room for mistakes and birth injury to occur. 

Chorioamnionitis affects a small number of pregnancies and the diagnosis can have life-long effects to both the mother and baby if left untreated, or if treated improperly.

We’re going to break down the ins and outs of chorioamnionitis, what it is, how it’s diagnosed, how it affects mothers and babies and the treatment.

Let’s also review how the occurrence of a birth injury due to chorioamnionitis are grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you were diagnosed with chorioamnionitis and suspect you or your baby were not treated properly or promptly, and thus sustained an injury, then you deserve compensation.

At the end we’ll tell you how to receive a free legal consultation with an experienced medical malpractice team.

What is chorioamnionitis and how is it diagnosed?

Chorioamnionitis occurs in roughly 2% of pregnancies

It can develop prelabor or during delivery, and is a serious type of bacterial infection that attacks the placenta and amniotic fluid. 

The placenta is an organ that develops during pregnancy in the expecting mother’s uterus. It’s an integral organ during pregnancy as it allows for the passing of oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the baby.

Amniotic fluid is a clear liquid that surrounds and protects the baby and the fetal membranes. Amniotic fluid is contained by the amniotic sac.

Both structures, the placenta and amniotic fluid, are critical throughout pregnancy. They allow for the unborn baby to safely develop and grow.

When an infection occurs, it’s imperative for mothers to receive treatment immediately. 

If either of these structures are put at risk, then the mother and baby are at risk for further health complications and possible birth injury.

Common chorioamnionitis symptoms mothers may experience include:

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Tachycardia, aka fast heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Tenderness of the uterus
  • An unusual discharge

If there is any suspicion of chorioamnionitis, an obstetrician or medical provider should discuss the mother’s symptoms and perform a physical examination.

Obstetricians and medical providers can also confirm the diagnosis with the help of blood tests, taking samples of the amniotic fluid, and by ordering an ultrasound.

Any inclination of chorioamnionitis must be promptly and thoroughly examined and treated to reduce the risk of trauma during delivery.

If a healthcare provider or doctors failed to diagnose this condition or to deploy the proper treatment, you may have grounds for a birth injury lawsuit.

How does chorioamnionitis affect mothers and newborns?

If chorioamnionitis is left untreated, or is not treated quickly enough, then both the mother and baby are at serious risk for injuries during labor and delivery.

The most common health complications for mothers include:

  • Further bacterial infection in the pelvic and abdomen region
  • Endometriosis
  • Blood clots in the lungs
  • Blood clots in the pelvis area
  • Sepsis

The most common health complications associated with newborns include:

  • Preterm labor
  • Premature birth
  • Sepsis
  • Neonatal meningitis
  • Respiratory problems
  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Still-birth

Typically, a mother’s water will break (or the membranes will rupture) after 38-39 weeks of pregnancy. 

The risk of developing chorioamnionitis significantly increases if the membranes surrounding the fetus rupture prematurely.

All of these health complications will require some form of treatment. If caught too late, there can be irreversible damages to you and your baby.

Proper treatment and management 

Like any serious infection, treatment is dependent upon the severity of the infection, the mothers symptoms, her age and past medical history. 

Once chorioamnionitis is diagnosed, you can expect two possibilities: An intensive treatment of antibiotics, or induced labor.

Doctors have discovered that an immediate and aggressive treatment plan of antibiotics can drastically reduce the potential health risks and injuries to both the mother and her baby.

If caught early enough, the likelihood of developing neonatal sepsis and further severe infection reduces by 80%. This is why it’s critical that medical providers act quickly.

If it is safe enough to induce labor, your obstetrician will most likely do so in an effort to prevent further health complications.

Even after labor, you and your baby may need to continue taking antibiotics to ensure you and your baby’s health.

A medical professional failing to provide these treatment options could be determined as medical negligence. 

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Can you file a chorioamnionitis lawsuit?

If you were diagnosed with chorioamnionitis, and you and your baby suffered a birth injury due to this diagnosis, contact a medical malpractice attorney immediately.

Due to the urgency of chorioamnionitis, any delay in the treatment process can be grounds for a lawsuit against your health care provider.

You may also have a lawsuit if you suspect your obstetrician or other health care provider did not provide adequate treatment, or did not take the necessary next steps to confirm a diagnosis. 

As soon as you decide to take legal action and pursue compensation, reach out to an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

To prove a medical malpractice claim, an attorney will need to prove four factors:

  1. That you were under the direct care of the accused medical provider, or hospital
  2. The provider, or hospital, failed to provide you with the standard level of care,
  3. You and/or your newborn suffered from an injury due to their failed care
  4. You incurred financial, emotional and other hardships due to the injury

Review these tips before you hire someone so that you can confidently move forward in your legal battle.

Contact Grover Lewis Johnson 

With over 25 years of experience, the attorneys at Grover Lewis Johnson understand what it takes to pursue a medical malpractice claim. 

Our dedicated malpractice team knows how to best go about fighting medical malpractice.

You can discuss your case and the next steps in filing a lawsuit over a no-cost consultation with one of our attorneys. 

We will carefully and empathetically listen to your story and provide legal expertise and expected outcome of your case.

If you and your baby have suffered an injury due to negligence or malpractice of your obstetrician then you deserve justice.

Fill out our intake form for a free consultation, so you can get the guidance and compensation you deserve.