When you are pregnant, it is normal to be concerned about how your health impacts your baby. So, if you get an infection, like a urinary tract infection (UTI), can that cause harm to your baby?
In some cases, a urinary tract infection can cause a child to develop cerebral palsy. Generally, this only happens if a UTI is not properly treated with the right antibiotics. Infections are not the only cause of cerebral palsy. Negligence during the delivery process might lead to a lack of oxygen or excessive force, causing a child to sustain a brain injury that leads to cerebral palsy. When medical professionals do not properly diagnose UTIs in carrying parents, babies might be harmed. In these instances, parents might be able to sue for medical malpractice.
To schedule a free analysis of your case from our Baltimore birth injury lawyers, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
Will My Baby Develop Cerebral Palsy if I Have a UTI?
Cerebral palsy a congenital disorder caused by an abnormal development of the brain. The root cause of cerebral palsy can differ from child to child and is not always clear. As a parent, it is normal to be concerned that your actions or failure to get treatment for an infection might cause your child to have congenital disabilities, such as cerebral palsy.
Certain infections have been linked to cerebral palsy. For example, if the parent carrying the child gets an infection, such as cytomegalovirus, it can also impact the child. Sexually transmitted diseases might also increase your child’s risk of having cerebral palsy. But what about something like a urinary tract infection, or a UTI? Urinary tract infections are somewhat common during pregnancy and should be treated with medication so they do not worsen.
If a UTI is left untreated, several things might happen. The infection will likely worsen, and a parent might go into labor before their child is due. Urinary tract infections might also cause fetal death if not treated properly with antibiotics. Furthermore, UTIs have been linked to cerebral palsy in children. However, it is important to understand that if a UTI is treated and the infection does not worsen, there is little risk of the child developing a congenital birth defect, such as cerebral palsy. Urinary tract infections are typically easy to identify as their symptoms are quite clear. Common symptoms of UTIs include frequent urination, pain while urinating, stomach pain, and fatigue. Report these symptoms to your obstetrician immediately so that you can get the necessary antibiotics to treat your UTI.
What Should I Do if My Doctor Said My UTI Caused My Baby’s Cerebral Palsy?
If your child was born with cerebral palsy, and you are unsure of the cause of their condition, ask your doctor for clarification. If your doctor immediately claims that your child’s cerebral palsy was due to a UTI you had, you would be right to question them.
Although infections like UTIs have been linked to cerebral palsy, so has medical malpractice. If your child was born with cerebral palsy, our birth injury lawyers will begin an investigation into the events leading up to your child’s birth. We might ask you to recall, to the best of your ability, what happened during labor and delivery. Were there any complications you can remember? If loved ones were in the room with you, what can they remember? Was your child’s birth facilitated by forceps or a vacuum? Was your child delivered via cesarean section? Were you even diagnosed with a UTI at any point during your pregnancy?
If your doctor immediately blames your apparent UTI for your child’s cerebral palsy, it could be because they acted negligently during delivery and caused your child’s condition. Cerebral palsy can be caused when delivering doctors improperly handle birth. If your doctor or the nurses present for delivery are not forthcoming about the process, especially if you approach them after the fact with questions about the delivery, it might be because an act of malpractice occurred, causing a birth injury that resulted in your child developing cerebral palsy. Getting the records from your child’s birth can provide greater insight into what happened and if a doctor acted negligently.
How Misdiagnosis of a UTI Can Cause Cerebral Palsy in a Baby
If you had a UTI during pregnancy but were misdiagnosed by a doctor and were not given the proper antibiotics, your child might develop cerebral palsy. In that instance, the misdiagnosis could be considered malpractice.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for doctors to confuse sexually transmitted diseases and UTIs. Should this happen, you might be prescribed the wrong medication to clear your infection, causing it to worsen and harm your baby.
Some symptoms of urinary tract infections overlap with symptoms carrying parents experience during pregnancy. If you inform your doctor of your symptoms, and they shrug them off as normal symptoms of pregnancy, your UTI might worsen and cause your baby to develop cerebral palsy.
In these instances, parents might be able to sue a negligent doctor or hospital for compensatory damages. That is because doctors owe a duty of care to their patients, and, in some cases, misdiagnosis is due to a breach of that duty of care. This can result in compensation for the pain and suffering parents have experienced due to a medical professional’s negligence. Proving that it is more likely than not that a misdiagnosis of a parent’s UTI caused a child to develop cerebral palsy can be challenging. To help you achieve your goal, our attorneys will likely call on medical experts to review you and your child’s medical records and provide testimony that explains the likelihood of negligence causing cerebral palsy in your baby.
Call Our Lawyers About Your Birth Injury Case
Call (410) 694-7291 to speak with the Parkville, MD birth injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras about getting a free case review.