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Kernicterus as a Complication of Untreated Jaundice

Michael Becker

Newborn diagnosed with jaundice? An attorney knows that left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. One condition that can be life-threatening is kernicterus.

Jaundice is a fairly common medical condition that newborns may develop in the days following birth. The baby’s liver may not process bilirubin that forms when red blood cells break down effectively, which can cause yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.

In the mildest of cases, nothing needs to be done other than keeping an eye on the baby for worsening symptoms. If it starts to become more serious, treatment may be necessary, such as placing the baby under a special type of light. In the most severe of cases, a blood transfusion may be required.

Once jaundice progresses to a dangerous point, it can lead to kernicterus. This is caused by high levels of bilirubin in the baby’s blood, which can spread into the brain’s tissue, according to PubMed Health.

Possible symptoms other than severe jaundice include poor feeding, difficulty waking the baby, arching his or her back, and more. If you begin to notice symptoms of kernicterus, seek immediate medical attention.

Infants affected by this condition may experience brain damage, which can lead to serious complications. Some cases may even be fatal.

If a healthcare provider did not take necessary steps to recognize newborn baby jaundice or worsening symptoms or did not properly treat it in a timely manner, it may constitute medical negligence. In this case you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim to recover damages for medical expenses, future healthcare costs, and other economical or other non-economical damages.

Seeking Help from a Cleveland Birth Injury Attorney

Consulting birth injury attorneys at Cleveland’s Becker Law Firm can help you learn if medical negligence may have been the cause of your child’s injuries. To schedule your free initial consultation with an attorney, call us at (440) 252-4399.

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