Diseases that are manageable for adults can be detrimental for newborn babies, which is why OBGYNs and other medical professionals who care for pregnant women and their infants need to be tuned into a range of symptoms that could indicate life-threatening problems that could lead to infant death.
“The effects of a delayed diagnosis of infant HSV can be disastrous, even leading to infant death, which is why the medical community knows that it is important to screen for this condition,” says Orlando personal injury attorney Jeff Badgley of Badgley Law Group.
The Difference Between Adult and Infant HSV
About 70% of U.S. adults have Herpes Simplex Virus, and most are able to live full, normal lives. However, HSV is incredibly dangerous for infants.
If you’re pregnant, it’s important to know the facts about infants and HSV. If you or a loved one has lost a child to HSV, or the infant has been seriously harmed by HSV, knowing these facts will help you decide whether to reach out to an attorney for help.
A doctor’s obligation to monitor for HSV begins long before an infant is born. According to MedScape , a digital publication of WebMD’s Health Professional Network, a history of genital herpes should be obtained before pregnancy. For infants born of women with a recurrent maternal herpes outbreak, skin and mucus specimens should be obtained 24 hours after delivery and the infant should be completely evaluated. These are just some of the protocols in place to protect infants.
Newborns with HSV need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous antiviral medication for 21 days.
Signs and Symptoms of HSV in Infants
- Mild fever as low as 100.4 degrees F, up to a high fever
- Resistance to feeding
- Small skin blisters
Symptoms can begin to appear anywhere from 2 to 12 days after the baby’s exposure. HSV-1 (typically sores on mouth and lips) is caused by close contact with someone with HSV-1 cold sores. In the case of HSV-2 (genital herpes), the virus is passed from mother to child in the birth canal.
Herpes Simplex Virus infection in newborns can be very severe and can even cause death. This is why an infant with suspicious symptoms must be taken to the hospital immediately.
“Proper medical diagnosis and treatment can spare a child from a lifetime of needless suffering or infant death,” reminds Badgley.
Intravenous Acyclovir Treatment
Doctors must begin intravenous acyclovir treatment as soon as an infant is diagnosed with HSV.
Acyclovir is an antiviral drug that slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus in the body. If there is any delay in accurate diagnosis and onset of treatment, the infant’s life is in danger. A study conducted from 2003 to 2009 showed the association between delayed acyclovir therapy and death. Delay of treatment by even a day increases the likelihood of infant death.
If you or a loved one has lost a child to Herpes Simplex Virus, or the infant has been seriously harmed by HSV, contact Badgley Law Group today. Orlando attorney Jeff Badgley specializes in medical malpractice and wrongful death cases where infants die or are injured as a result of delayed treatment.