Kernicterus or Hyperbilirubinemia at Birth

Personal Injury

Shortly before a baby enters this world, its body starts producing an abundance of red blood cells which must be broken down rapidly. The baby’s internal organs such as the kidneys and liver break down these components and flush them out before they become a danger to sensitive organs such as the brain, heart and lungs. Bilirubin is another name given to a blood byproduct that’s yellow in color. Therefore, hyperbilirubinemia refers to an abundance of this byproduct in a newborn’s body.

Hyperbilirubinemia can be attributed to Indiana medical malpractice because it is something that doctors should vigilantly look out for during the delivery process and treat or prevent it in a timely manner. The symptoms of this condition are hard to miss, and it progresses in a frightfully fast way if doctors don’t act immediately.

Here are some hyperbilirubinemia warning signs:

  • Yellow eyes and skin, commonly referred to as jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tone issues
  • Fever
  • A high-pitched and abnormal cry
  • Lethargy

When hyperbilirubinemia is left to progress, it develops into kernicterus which refers to the yellow staining of brain kernels, which are found deep in the brain’s nuclei. Once this happens, it sets the stage for the development of cerebral palsy since this compound has been shown to kill brain cells attributed to muscle tone and movement.

Doctors can prevent this event by using an instrument which measures the level of bilirubin in the baby’s blood. In addition, they can check for discrepancies between the mother’s and child’s blood cell count to determine if it’s about to develop and then administer an effective antidote.

Cerebral Palsy Birth Injuries are Preventable

Hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus are preventable. Failure to administer a certain standard of care may have led to your child developing cerebral palsy, a condition he or she will have to contend with for the rest of their lives. If your child was born with cerebral palsy, call us today on 877-561-3004 and we’ll investigate if jaundice or kernicterus had a role to play in it, and advise you on the next legal step to take so you can recover compensation in the form of a Northwest Indiana birth injury lawsuit. Thanks for choosing us, and we look forward to hearing from you.