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Death of Newborn Baby After Infection

Death of Newborn Baby After Infection

If your newborn baby died of an infection and medical practitioners failed to administer antibiotics, there may be grounds for a medical negligence claim. Please get in touch with us today to find out more.

Preventing infection of newborn baby

If a mother is in labour and she is at risk of having an infection, she should be given antibiotics. Factors that increase the risk of early onset neonatal infection include:

  • Prematurity, the risk of which increases with decreasing gestation and birth weight
  • Spontaneous preterm onset of labour (before 37 weeks)
  • Spontaneous preterm rupture of membranes
  • Prolonged rupture of membranes increasing with duration of more than 12 hours

Therefore one of the main indications of infection is preterm labour. A mother who goes into labour prematurely should be administered a suitable type of antibiotic. If she is allergic to the antibiotic of choice, a substitute should be found.

This will reduce the chance of the infection being passed vertically from mother to baby. The Cochrane Library reviewed antibiotic use in preterm labour in more than 6,000 women in 19 trials. The analysis found that antibiotic use in preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM) was associated with a reduction in major neonatal co-morbidity conditions or indicators such as neonatal infection.

In other words, the use of antibiotics will significantly delay the onset of delivery and will reduce the risks of neonatal infection.

Antibiotics should also be administered to the baby when it is born. Clinicians should not wait until a baby is displaying signs of infection. Rather, if there is any indication that could put a baby at risk of infection, antibiotics should be prescribed and administered without delay, certainly within one hour.

Substandard level of care

If medical practitioners fail to recognise that a mother is at-risk of infection, and therefore fail to administer the mother and/or baby with antibiotics, the standard of care will have fallen below an acceptable standard.

Should this result in the tragic consequence of a neonatal death, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

If your baby has died due to negligent medical treatment, we understand just how angry and upset you will be feeling. Although a claim cannot undo the terrible trauma you and your family will have endured, it may help to provide some form of redress, and will help to prevent further mistakes being made in the future.

Contact us today

To talk to a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim, please get in touch with us today.

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