Bilirubin is a yellow substance found in the bloodstream which the liver helps to get rid of, through urination. An infant's liver takes time to start properly functioning. Bilirubin can then build up in the bloodstream, causing yellowing of the skin and eyes, known as jaundice. Jaundice is a common medical condition in newborns that is treated with lights. However, if it is not treated properly, it may progress to a more serious form of hyperbilirubinemia, which can then cause permanent brain damage.

If your doctor failed to treat your child's jaundice and they suffered brain damage as a result, your child may be entitled to compensation for both their physical injuries and for professional services for the child. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers has helped many families in Syracuse and Upstate, New York who have suffered preventable injuries like this.

Symptoms of Hyperbilirubinemia

Hyperbilirubinemia is a medical emergency that needs to be treated immediately to prevent further brain damage. Paramedics should be alert for symptoms of hyperbilirubinemia, since this condition often arises within hours or days after birth. The symptoms include:

  • Yellow skin of the infant
  • The whites of the eyes turning yellow
  • Poor feeding
  • Lethargy

When a baby shows any of these symptoms, early treatment is essential to prevent it from worsening.


Early diagnosis helps treat Hyperbilirubinemia effectively and may significantly improve the health of your child. Common treatment for hyperbilirubinemia includes:

  • Phototherapy - placing the newborn under blue spectrum lights
  • Fiber Optic Blanket
  • Hydration through Feeding
  • Transfusion to Replace Damaged Red Blood Cells

If the hyperbilirubinemia is due to an underlying condition, such as an infection, treatment of that condition may be sufficient in eliminating the jaundice as well.

Medical Malpractice

When a medical provider fail s to perform any of the following steps, they may be liable for medical malpractice:

  • Failing to examine the infant for jaundice
  • Not carrying out a bilirubin test
  • Failing to treat a newborn upon knowing the bilirubin results

When a doctor fails to diagnose jaundice, the baby needlessly suffers because of the negligence of the medical provider. Sadly, failure to treat hyperbilirubinemia could result in permanent brain and neurological damage, or it could even lead to the death of an innocent baby.

Since hyperbilirubinemia can be prevented, negligent doctors and medical providers may be held liable for failing to diagnose and treat this serious medical condition. Children who have suffered serious or even deadly injuries on account of medical malpractice may be entitled to monetary compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Serving Birth Injury Victims in Syracuse and Upstate New York

Our law firm has extensive experience in handling all types of birth injury medical malpractice cases. We also use experienced medical experts from outside of the local area who will give us objective evaluations for the cases we investigate. If you believe you have a case, call us today at 315-479-9000 or contact us for a free consultation. You are never responsible for legal fees unless we are able to recover money for you.