Group B Strep Infection – Medical Malpractice

Group B Streptococcus (group B strep) and Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can be the cause of injuries from a group B strep infection in the following situations:

  1. The group B strep infection could have been prevented
  2. The group B strep infection was not diagnosed or misdiagnosed
  3. The group B strep infection was not treated or improperly treated

Compensation for injuries from medical malpractice can include medical expenses, cost of care, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm has successfully handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases, including group B strep cases.  To contact the firm for a free consultation with a lawyer, please call toll-free at 1-800-323-9900 or submit the online contact form.

Group B Streptococcus (Group B Strep)

Group B streptococcus or GBS is a bacterium that is the most common cause of neonatal sepsis and meningitis, but incidence of clinical disease only occurs in 1-2% of newborns.  It is a common bacterium that can colonize or lives in humans, often without causing disease.  In humans it primarily resides in or colonizes the gastrointestinal, genital and urinary tracts.  It is during or around the time of birth that the infection can be passed to the newborn.  Roughly 10 to 30% of pregnant women are colonized with GBS in their genital tract.1 Therefore, in mothers who have previously had a baby with GBS or may be colonized with it there is something that can be done.  If the mothers membranes break early or if the mother has been diagnosed with GBS antibiotics can be taken to reduce the risk of passing the GBS onto the newborn infant.1   Disease presents as early onset (up to 7 days) or late-onset (7days to 3 weeks).

Over time the types of pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc) prevalent in a certain population can change.  In fact, GBS began to cause more infections in the early 1970’s and is now a leading cause of disease in very young children.  However, following a series of studies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for prenatal screen in 1996.  By 1999 the incidence of GBS in neonates had fallen dramatically.  In 2002 the CDC updated its recommendations and called for universal screening of pregnant mothers at 35-37 weeks by rectal-vaginal culture.3