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Birth Injury Claims for Kernicterus

Michael Becker

Ohio birth injury claims are filed when newborns suffer from a condition called kernicterus. If this was caused by a form of medical negligence, then parents may be entitled to compensation. You should speak with an Elyria birth injury law firm about your case.

When Jaundice Leads to Kernicterus in Ohio Birth Injury Claims

It’s not uncommon for newborns to develop jaundice. It is a condition where the skin has a yellowish appearance. Sometimes the whites of the baby’s eyes will also have a yellowish tinge. It is caused by high levels of bilirubin, which usually doesn’t require treatment if it is mild.

Jaundice can become more serious, in which case treatment will be necessary. This is done by placing the baby under special lights, a treatment called phototherapy.

If jaundice is serious and left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening conditions including kernicterus, which is a form of brain damage resulting from high levels of bilirubin move to the brain’s tissue. It develops during the baby’s first week of life but it can occur up to 3 weeks into life.

Symptoms of Kernicterus

If you see signs of the following symptoms, it may validate eligibility for Ohio birth injury claims:

  • excessive fatigue;
  • seizures;
  • bulging soft spot (fontanel);
  • arched back (neck hyperextends backwards);
  • poor sucking/feeding;
  • high-pitched cries; and
  • fluctuations between increased muscle tone (hypertonic) and decreased muscle tone (hypotonic).

Some symptoms affect the neurological system. The baby then experiences hearing loss, speech difficulties, mental retardation, and movement disorder.

Treatment of Kernicterus

Providing immediate treatment is vital for a baby with severe jaundice. The sooner the condition is treated, the less likely brain damage occurs. A failure to recognize that severe jaundice is present or a failure to properly treat it could be the result of medical negligence.

If phototherapy doesn’t work, then a doctor will perform exchange transfusion. This is a way to quickly remove toxic levels of bilirubin from the blood.

Failure to seek treatment could result in permanent neurological and brain damage. It could even be fatal. An early diagnosis of jaundice and proper treatment is the only way to prevent it.

When a serious medical condition is preventable, the doctor or other healthcare professional could be held liable. Ohio birth injury claims address the issue of compensation. You may be entitled to damages that cover not only your medical bills but those related to your child’s future medical care and treatment, disability, mental anguish, and other losses suffered.

By consulting with an Elyria birth injury law firm, you can gain a better understanding of what legal options may be available for filing Ohio birth injury claims when your child has been the victim of medical negligence.

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