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Overlooked listeria infection puts pregnant women and their children at risk

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Firm News

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it also calls for heightened vigilance. Among the many risks that expecting mothers face, some, such as listeria infection, can easily go unnoticed. This foodborne bacterium found in uncooked meats and dairy products can pose a serious health risk to pregnant women and their unborn children.

Listeria infection is rare but prevalent among pregnant women and newborns

Although cases of listeriosis are uncommon, its impact should not be underestimated. Those with compromised immune systems, such as pregnant women and newborns, are particularly susceptible to contracting it.

The primary cause of listeriosis is by eating contaminated food. Common sources include raw fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized dairy products, uncooked meats and ready-to-eat foods. A pregnant woman carrying the bacteria could pass it on to her fetus through pregnancy or newborn during delivery.

Its symptoms are deceptively mild and misleading, resembling those of the flu from headache to chills and fever. However, people infected with listeriosis often display no apparent symptoms at all.

Standard of care for diagnosing listeriosis in pregnant women

A fever of 38.1°C, accompanied by diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues in a pregnant woman, and with no other discernible cause, could be a sign of listeriosis. This set of symptoms warrants immediate attention. Doctors should entertain the possibility of infection and conduct testing.

Failing to provide a standard of care may result in devastating consequences. Complications due to listeria infection range from miscarriages and premature births to stillbirths. In the worst cases, it can even be fatal for both the mother and her child. Therefore, recognizing listeria infection and taking appropriate measures is crucial.

While no amount of money could truly make up for the death of a child or a life-threatening condition, seeking legal action could help mitigate the financial burdens that come with such a tragic incident.

Pregnancy is a tough but fulfilling journey. However, there are numerous threats that can interfere, many of which are not so obvious. The key to a safe and healthy pregnancy is to stay informed and to exercise caution.