Infant chorioamnionitis: causes, symptoms, treatments

Chorioamnionitis refers to the swelling of the fetal membranes. It's caused by a bacterial infection, usually one that is caught by the mother in her urogenital tract and works its way up to the baby. The bacteria could be group B streptococci, E. coli or an anaerobic bacteria. It often arises during first pregnancies, during long and stressful labors and among mothers under 21. Washington residents may want to know how this is treated.

The first step is knowing how to detect its symptoms. Since the infection will normally affect the baby while still in utero, it is diagnosed by looking at the mother. Maternal fever, typically recurring and exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, is one prominent indicator of infant chorioamnionitis. In babies, the symptoms include fatigue, poor sucking, respiratory difficulties and gastrointestinal problems such as blood in stool, vomiting and diarrhea.

Generally, the first step in treating chorioamnionitis is to hasten the delivery and give both the mother and the baby the right antibiotics. In the event that the baby has an abdominal infection, bone infection, brain abscess or other serious condition, surgery may be required. Intubation and ventilation is another treatment option.

When caught early, the infection will not lead to any long-term effects. When not, it can result in sepsis, meningitis or severe respiratory problems. Pneumonia and brain complications may also develop.

Since there are ways for doctors to test mothers for chorioamnionitis during the pregnancy, it shouldn't go undiagnosed. In the event, though, that doctor negligence leads to the development of chorioamnionitis and thus to a birth injury, parents may be able to hold the medical center responsible. Hiring an attorney who works in birth injury law may be a good idea since the other side could be aggressive in denying a claim.

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