Kernicterus Can Cause Severe Brain Damage to a Newborn
Baby and Result in Long-Term Disability and Even Death
Kernicterus is a rare but serious disease that occurs when
severe jaundice in a newborn infant goes undiagnosed and untreated. Many medical
experts believe kernicterus is a “never event,” meaning it is entirely
preventable. Kernicterus can cause severe brain damage to a newborn baby and
ultimately result in long-term disability and even death.
If your baby has kernicterus, you may have a medical
malpractice claim against doctors, nurses and other healthcare practitioners who
failed to provide proper medical treatment. The malpractice claim is for the
harm your child has suffered, and for the lifetime cost of care and treatment
for your child.
How Undiagnosed, Untreated Jaundice Leads to Kernicterus
Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin that commonly manifests during
the first three to five days of an infant’s life. It is caused when the baby
has too much of a pigment formed in the liver, called bilirubin, in his/her
blood. This condition is known as hyperbilirubinemia.
Common signs that a newborn with jaundice is at risk for
Many times, jaundice will go away without treatment.
However, if jaundice is severe and treatment is required, the main treatment is
to place the baby under special blue lights, called “bili lights,” for a number
of hours, or wrapped in a “bili-blanket.” This treatment is called
phototherapy. It helps remove the bilirubin from the blood, which avoids the
development of kernicterus. When a baby is severely jaundiced, doctors can also
perform a blood transfusion to remove the extra bilirubin, referred to as an
Long-Term Medical Complications Caused by Kernicterus
Babies with kernicterus may suffer from long-term medical complications
Trial Lawyers for Life’s Most Challenging Moments
The attorneys at Feldman Shepherd have a proven history of
achieving record-breaking multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements throughout
the U.S. for the families of children injured by medical mistakes that cause
kernicterus and other neonatal and birth injuries. We understand the impact
these injuries have on children and their families, and we are committed to
providing compassionate, but resolute, legal representation that meets the special
needs of our young clients and their families.
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