Failure to Diagnose and Treat Neonatal Sepsis Early Could Result in Serious Complications
Neonatal sepsis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection that a newborn baby can develop. It is passed to the baby from his mother during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Because it can quickly travel throughout the baby's body via his bloodstream, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are essential in stopping the infection before it causes life-altering complications or the baby’s death.
Diagnosis of Neonatal Sepsis
Laboratory tests play a key part in determining if a baby has neonatal sepsis. Tests used to diagnose this medical condition include:
- Blood tests. Blood tests are used to determine if the bacteria is in the blood and how well internal organs, such as the heart and liver, are functioning.
- Urine test. This is also used to check for the bacteria and is usually performed by inserting a catheter into the baby’s bladder.
- Lumbar puncture. This is also known as a spinal tap. It is used to test for meningitis, a complication associated with neonatal sepsis.
- X-rays. X-rays could be taken, especially if the doctor suspects the baby may have pneumonia.
Treatment for Neonatal Sepsis
Neonatal sepsis is treated by antibiotics given intravenously, sometimes even before the diagnosis is confirmed. The specific antibiotics would be chosen based on the maternal history, current trends in the colonization of the bacteria, and how the baby responds to the antibiotic treatment initially given. Often, the baby is placed in a neonatal intensive care unit where he can be closely monitored for complications, such as problems breathing and organ damage. If not treated and managed early, the baby could suffer from seizures, meningitis, brain injury, or cerebral palsy.
If your baby suffered injuries from neonatal sepsis, he could have a claim of medical malpractice that you will need to pursue for him. It is important that you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to not miss the time period for bringing a lawsuit. Fill out our online form to schedule a FREE consultation to learn about your legal options and how we can help you.
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