What is Chorioamnionitis (Maternal Infection)?

Mother breastfeeding newborn baby childPregnancy can have the tendency to be dangerous for both mother and child. That’s why the expecting mother must receive the best prenatal care. Prenatal care and screening help reduce risks during labor and birth. Pregnancy problems, such as maternal infections, can be detected and treated early.

Chorioamnionitis, also known as amnionitis or intra-amniotic infection, is a maternal infection that can occur on or before labor. The name is derived from chorion and amnion, which refer to the outer membrane and the fluid-filled sac that surround the fetus.

What are the Risk Factors of Chorioamnionitis?

Chorioamnionitis happens when the chorion, amnion, and amniotic fluid are infected by bacteria. It can lead to a serious infection that can affect both the mother and the baby.

The other risk factors of chorioamnionitis include:

  • Prolonged labor
  • Premature labor
  • Pre-existing bacterial infections, such as UTI and bacterial vaginosis
  • Nulliparity
  • Young maternal age (21 years and below)
  • Ruptured membranes for an extended period
  • Obesity
  • Group B Streptococcus
  • Short Cervix
  • Multiple vaginal examinations
  • Epidural anesthesia
  • Internal fetal monitoring
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Drug Abuse

What Causes Chorioamnionitis?

Chorioamnionitis occurs when bacteria in the vagina go up into the uterus and infect the placenta, amniotic fluid, and the baby. The common bacteria that cause it are E.coli, anaerobic bacteria, and group B streptococci.

What Are The Symptoms?

Some women with chorioamnionitis may experience the following symptoms:

  • Maternal fever
  • Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)
  • Diaphoresis (Too Much Sweating)
  • Tenderness of the Uterine
  • Foul-smelling and discolored amniotic fluid
  • High maternal tachycardia
  • Fetal tachycardia
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Maternal leukocytosis

However, it is imperative to remember that not all women infected will display any symptoms. The diagnosis of chorioamnionitis is usually based on clinical signs. Laboratory tests can also be performed on the mother who has no symptoms but is in early labor. These tests include:

  • Maternal GBS screening test
  • Maternal blood studies
  • Amniotic fluid examination
  • Maternal urine examination

If the mother has a fever and is suspected of chorioamnionitis, the following may be tested:

  • White blood cell count
  • C-reactive protein levels
  • Ferritin levels
  • Effects of Chorioamnionitis

Chorioamnionitis is very common, and if treated right, it will not affect the mother and the baby. In some cases, it can damage the membranes and cause cervical ripening. That can lead to early and premature labor.

The inflammation can also spread and affect the placenta and flow of nutrients and oxygen from the mother and baby. It is benign, but it can increase the chances of fetal death.

If not detected and appropriately treated, chorioamnionitis can lead to the following serious outcomes:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Respiratory problems
  • Neonatal sepsis and meningitis
  • Periventricular leukomalacia
  • Hydrops fetalis
  • Intrauterine growth restriction

How is it Treated?

If detected early, chorioamnionitis can be treated. Treatment may include early delivery, antibiotics, and supportive care.

Antibiotic treatment is vital to prevent complications to both the mother and the baby. The antibiotic that will be given will depend if the delivery is normal or via C-section. Additional antibiotics are also administered after the delivery of the baby.

Supportive care includes the administration of acetaminophen. It is administered during delivery and helps prevent brain damage to the baby.

At Any Sign of Possible Birth Injury, Seek Legal Help

If you and your baby suffered from chorioamnionitis because of your physician’s negligence, you could file a lawsuit. Your doctor may have missed the symptoms, or did some tests and did not follow through on your results. Whatever the reason, your doctor can be held liable for the suffering and injury you and your baby went through.

With the help of an experienced Michigan birth injury lawyer, you can file for the following claims, among others:

  • Medical expenses
  • Emotional stress
  • Physical suffering

Call a Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawyer Immediately

Giving birth should be a joyous moment. However, a moment’s negligence can cause suffering and pain to the mother and child.

If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, a reputable Michigan lawyer will help you every step of the way. We at The Clark Law Office understand the intricacies and complexities of maternal infection and birth injury cases. Our dedicated lawyers will see to it that you receive the just compensation that you deserve. Contact us now and let us talk about how we can help you.


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