Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers For New Born Jaundice Injuries
As a parent, I can’t think of anything more horrific than a life-long disability facing a young child. As a medical malpractice lawyer who represents families faced with the difficult task of caring for a disabled child, I really get angered when the disability is caused by the carelessness of others.
Unlike, many types of medical malpractice that involve extremely complex medical issues that can be frankly difficult for any person without medical training to comprehend, jaundice (or more accurately neonatal hyperbilirubinemia) is a relatively straight-forward medical complication that can have devastating consequences for newborns when left undiagnosed or improperly treated.
Bilirubin is a waste product that is left behind when red blood cells break down is a natural part of human life. In the case of some newborns with jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes), the underlying cause may be a heighten bilirubin levels– called hyperbilirubinemia.
In addition to the visible skin and eye discoloration, hyperbilirubinia may also be diagnosed with blood tests to determine if the bilirubin levels are problematic. Once diagnosed, newborn hyperbilirubinism can usually be treated with relatively simple phototherapy – light therapy.
When elevated bilirubin levels acheive a certain level and go untreated or undiagnosed by physicians, the toxicity can result in kernicterus– brain damage. Newborns with kernicterus face a lifetime of permanent medical problems including:
- Hearing problems
- Vision problems
- Dental complications
- Cerebral palsy
In many of hyperbilirubinemia cases, a case may be pursued against the physician or hospital that failed to diagnose and treat the newborn’s elevated bilirubin levels. A claim may include recovery of money damages for a lifetime of medical care as well as the pain and other intangible losses where permitted by law.
Given the severity of these cases and the impact that caring for a disabled child has on the entire family, these cases certainly merit a timely and thorough investigation by medical and legal professionals to help evaluate all feasible causes of action. If you have questions about your child’s hyperbilirubenmia case, contact our Chicago birth injury law firm for a free case evaluation without any cost or obligation.
- Newborn Jaundice Medline Plus U.S. Library of Medicine, NIH National Institute of Health
- Hyperbilirubinemia in the Term Newborn MEREDITH L. PORTER, CPT, MC, USA, and BETH L. DENNIS, MAJ, MC, USA, Dewitt Army Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Virginia Am Fam Physician. 2002 Feb 15;65(4):599-607
- Jaundice and Hyperbilirubinemia in the Newborn, PEDIATRICS, KARINA LUISE GLASER,MD
- Treatment of jaundice in low birthweight infants (PDF) Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2003 November; 88(6): F459–F463 by M Maisels and J Watchko