The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be a life threatening condition. As the virus depletes the immune system, it leaves the body vulnerable to countless harmful illnesses. A child who becomes HIV positive due to a medical mistake faces a life with many challenges.
How HIV Infection Occurs
A doctor or nurse involved in the labor and delivery of a new baby should be aware of any risks that could cause harm to mom or baby, including the risk of HIV transmission. In an HIV birth injury case, medical professionals may have failed to perform a thorough medical evaluation or recognize the mother’s risk factors for HIV. In some cases, when a mother’s HIV status is known, hospital workers may simply overlook the proper precautions necessary to prevent transmission to the child.
If a mother’s HIV status is known, it is the responsibility of the doctor to institute transmission-reduction treatments, such as C-section deliver or AZT therapy, to minimize risk to the baby. Also, since a small amount of cases develop through breast milk transmission, mothers with HIV should be advised not to breastfeed in order to eliminate this risk.
Remember that early diagnosis means your child has the best chance at proper illness management. Today’s HIV antiretroviral therapies are far more sophisticated and effective than years past, and children with HIV can live a normal life with proper treatment. Very few infants diagnosed today will ever contract AIDS.
HIV-positive children will need blood tests often, and there are complications that can arise as a result of antiretroviral therapy.
Making a Claim
If you believe your child’s HIV infection was preventable, a skilled birth injury attorney can help you build a strong case against the negligent doctor or hospital. After determining your compensation eligibility, the attorney and his team will work closely with your family to pursue significant financial support, so your child has access to the best medical care available.