Our attorneys see a lot of parents calling us believing their child was harmed by chorioamnionitis who are trying to find out if they have a birth injury claim. Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection of the fetal membrane and amniotic fluid during pregnancy. A chorioamnionitis infection occurs when vaginal bacteria transfer into the uterus and spread. Chorioamnionitis occurs in approximately 2% of all childbirths in the U.S. It can have a number of adverse effects during pregnancy. A chorioamnionitis infection can block or limit the mother’s ability to pass nutrients to the baby.
If chorioamnionitis is not properly diagnosed and addressed the infection can also spread to the baby resulting in permanent long-term birth injuries such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy. How does it cause a brain injury? Chorioamnionitis causes an inflammatory response of cytokines that targets specifically the periventricular white matter in the premature infant, causing periventricular leukomalacia or PVL. The periventricular white matter is particularly sensitive to damage. It is also important to remember that chorioamnionitis is known to cause utero placental insufficiency and to compromise the ability of the placenta to oxygenate the fetus. Most birthing process brain injuries involve oxygen deprivation.
Chorioamnionitis can also cause premature labor and delivery which can lead to a host of complications for the mother and child.