Welcoming a new baby into your family is an exciting and busy experience. One thing you probably did not plan for is a severe health complication that developed from a relatively straightforward birth condition, such as jaundice.
A doctor’s failure to recognize and treat jaundice in a timely manner can pose serious, life-threatening risks to your baby. It is crucial to recognize that you have legal rights in this situation. A Stamford infant jaundice malpractice lawyer can help you get some answers during this difficult time and work to pursue the compensation your family needs. Reach out to the birth injury attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna to learn more.
Jaundice, or hyperbilirubinemia, occurs when newborns have too much bilirubin in their bloodstream. Bilirubin is a protein produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin in red blood cells. People’s livers normally process and remove bilirubin as a waste product.
During pregnancy, the baby’s mother’s liver takes care of removing the bilirubin. Once a baby is born, the baby’s liver needs to take over to flush the bilirubin from the bloodstream. Some newborns’ livers take longer to develop. When they are first born, some babies’ livers do not fully function and cannot remove the bilirubin from their bloodstream, which causes jaundice.
Jaundice is relatively common in newborns. Because it occurs so regularly in babies, many hospitals around the country routinely screen babies’ blood to check their bilirubin levels. In addition, most babies with jaundice experience yellowing of their skin and eyes, making it easily recognizable. Many hospitals have specific procedures to ensure that their medical staff can identify babies with jaundice to treat them appropriately. When healthcare professionals recognize jaundice in a newborn, they need to regularly and continuously monitor and retest the baby to ensure that the bilirubin levels in their bloodstream decrease.
Some babies with jaundice recover on their own over a short period of time. Depending on how high the initial bilirubin levels are and how quickly the baby’s condition improves, the doctors might need to try additional medical procedures. Some newborns need mild treatments, such as light therapy. Other babies might need more frequent feeding to prevent weight loss. In severe cases, babies might need more complex medical care, such as exchange transfusions or intravenous immunoglobulin.
Medical professionals who do not take the necessary steps to diagnose and treat a baby’s jaundice can be held legally accountable. A hardworking Stamford infant jaundice malpractice attorney can investigate the actions of the medical staff to see if they acted negligently.
Most hospitals do not consider jaundice to be a very serious health condition because it is so treatable. However, if a newborn does not receive prompt treatment, they could be at risk of developing life-altering complications. Too much bilirubin can affect a newborn’s brain functioning and cause kernicterus, a type of brain damage. Kernicterus can cause cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities.
These conditions can leave families facing immediate and long-term costs associated with treatment. A Stamford attorney can help calculate the financial impact of an infant jaundice misdiagnosis and pursue a fair damages award from the liable parties.
Watching your child suffer a possible lifetime of disabilities because of a doctor’s carelessness must be devastating. Healthcare providers sometimes fail to diagnose or properly treat a newborn’s jaundice; when they do, your family might be able to recoup your financial losses with a medical malpractice claim.
A Stamford infant jaundice malpractice lawyer can handle the ins and outs of your case so that you can focus on what matters most: your child. To schedule a free consultation with a dedicated member of the Berkowitz Hanna legal team, reach out to our office today.