Normal cell metabolism produces a waste product known as bilirubin. In order to maintain good health, the liver needs to remove the bilirubin to avoid the high levels of waste in the blood— known as hyperbilirubemia.
Complications from kernicterus
In newborns when bilirubin levels remain elevated for extended periods, the unchecked levels can cause a serious medical condition known as a form of brain damage referred to as kernicterus. Additionally, kernicterus may be responsible for other complications such as:
- Movement disorders
- Vision problems
- Hearing loss
- Dental problems
- Cerebral palsy
Basic treatment for jaundice
Thankfully, newborn jaundice (hyperbilirubinia) is relatively easy to diagnose and treat. Many cases of hyperbilirubinia are readily apparent from visible yellowing of the skin and eyes. In infants with darker skin tones, a simple blood test can confirm a diagnosis.
When diagnosed, most physicians prescribe phototherapy (light therapy) to assist in the breakdown of bilirubin. The failure to diagnose or treat newborn jaundice may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim against the practitioner.
Basic omissions, severe complications, legal rights
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has helped parents pursue claims for kernicterus against negligent physicians in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Our experience handling childrens’ medical malpractice cases has allowed us to develop relationships with the top experts in the fields of medicine, life care planning and economics. Particularly in cases where children may need a lifetime of medical care, these experts can help provide the reassurance that your child’s needs will be provided for.