Usually, a stomach virus, flu, or food poisoning does not put your unborn baby at risk. If a mother-to-be is throwing up or has irregular bowel movements, she can be treated with a lot of fluids and rest. For more serious instances, she may be admitted to a hospital where she could receive fluids intravenously if she is unable to eat or drink without vomiting. However, there are some sicknesses that may seem like a common cold or flu, but are actually much more serious and can lead to birth injuries or even infant death if not properly treated.
When a mother becomes sick due to E. coli bacteria, she can pass the sickness on to her baby during delivery. While flu-like and food poisoning symptoms can show when a person becomes sick from E. coli, not all mothers-to-be show symptoms. When this happens, newborns can become extremely ill within days, throwing up nonstop, having seizures, and ultimately dying from kidney failure. From the E. coli bacteria, babies can develop hemolytic-uremic syndrome, otherwise known as HUS, which is caused by a shiga toxin.
Less potent strains of E. coli do not affect the mother, but can quickly multiply within a newborn's body because there are not yet "good" bacteria in a newborn to fight the E. coli.
E. coli is most often found in types of food, including undercooked meats, some non-pasteurized cheeses and other dairy products, and squeezed juices. It can sometimes be found in swimming pools that aren't thoroughly cleaned and small lakes or ponds that have human or animal fecal matter in them. There have been cases caused by the passage of germs at petting zoos.
HUS is a disease that matures in the stomach or other abdominal organs and then develops contaminants that can seep into a person's bloodstream and kill platelets and red blood cells. The development of this problem in some newborns is now begging the question: should mothers-to-be who are about to give birth be regularly checked and what can be done if the E. coli strain is found?
If you have lost a child or your baby suffered serious injuries due to undetected E. coli or any other birth injury, please contact Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. so that we can assess your potential claim and help you decide if you have a claim against a negligent physician or other health care professional. Call our birth injury attorneys today at 800-777-4081.