Group B Strep, a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality since the 1970s: The Standard of Care
A mother-to-be has Group B Streptococcus; she isn't sick from it but, unfortunately transmits it to her infant who becomes devistated by the bacteria. Could the transmission have been interrupted? Could the infection have be anticipated and made impotent before wreaking damage?
It seems the courts are saying the onus on the obstetricians and neonatologists to manage the risk, but what if they are unaware the organism is lurking? What is their preventive efforts were timely but failed to weaken or eradicate this organism? Who is culpable when the infant has been damaged?
"In well-appearing newborn infants born to women without an indication for IAP [intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis], routine clinical care is indicated unless signs of sepsis develop. [However,] All newborn infants with signs suggestive of sepsis should have a full diagnostic evaluation, including a lumbar puncture if the infant is stable enough to undergo the procedure."
Thus, before blaming any doctor for 'missing' anything in this or similar situations, read the following Standard of Care [pdf]. [Pediatrics 2011;128:000]