What is Kernicterus?
Jaundice is a common medical condition in newborns that is treated with a light. If left untreated, severe jaundice can lead to kernicterus, which is a form of brain damage.
If your doctor or medical provider failed to timely diagnose and treat your child's severe jaundice and he or she suffered brain damage as a result, DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers in Syracuse, New York, is here to help. Our law firm has extensive experience in helping children who have unnecessarily suffered birth injuries. We also consult with board certified medical experts outside of our local area to provide us with objective medical opinions whether medical malpractice caused a child's birth injury.
Kernicterus and Brain Injury
Jaundice is caused by a chemical in the blood and tissues known as bilirubin. If the levels get too high, the chemical can move into the brain tissue and cause kernicterus, which is permanent brain damage. Symptoms of kernicterus include:
- Difficulty arousing from sleep
- Decrease in feeding
- A high-pitched cry
- Decreased or increased muscle tone
- Arching of the head and back
When Does Medical Malpractice Occur?
When the obstetrician or other medical provider fails to perform any of the following steps, they may be held liable for medical malpractice:
- Failing to examine the infant for jaundice
- Not examining the baby for kernicterus
- 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 doctor. Sadly, the failure to treat kernicterus could result in permanent brain and neurological damage, or it could even lead to the death of an innocent baby.
Since kernicterus can be prevented, negligent doctors can be held liable for failing to prevent this serious medical condition from occurring. Parents of babies who have suffered serious or even deadly injuries on account of medical malpractice may be entitled to monetary compensation.
Kernicterus is a medical emergency that needs to be treated immediately to prevent further brain damage. A failure to treat severe jaundice may be considered medical malpractice. Our lawyers will investigate your case to determine whether the care you received was appropriate or whether there were deviations from generally accepted medical standards.
No money in the world could compensate for the suffering of a newborn and their family. However, children should be compensated for what could be a lifelong condition and they should have funds available to them so that they can receive the best medical care and treatment available.
Serving Birth Injury Victims in Syracuse and Upstate New York
If you have any questions whether your child unnecessarily suffered a birth injury, call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of birth injuries. Consultations are always free and you will never be responsible for legal fees unless we are able to recover compensation for you.