When babies are born, parents and caregivers expect medical staff in the delivery room to take proper care in making sure the infant is healthy and safe. One thing doctors, midwives, nurses, or other professionals should look for is jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin and eyes. Babies with this condition may need light therapy, also known as phototherapy. Without treatment, jaundice can cause kernicterus and other serious complications.
If your infant was not treated for jaundice in a timely manner and later was diagnosed with kernicterus, hearing loss, athetoid cerebral palsy, or other complications which may be associated with untreated jaundice, you may wish to call an experienced Florida birth injury claims attorney. In these situations, families may be able to file a claim and seek compensation which helps them pay for their child’s care and medical treatment.What is Jaundice?
Jaundice causes yellowish skin and eyes. It occurs because the body has too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is created when the liver removes dead red blood cells so that they can be replaced by new, healthy cells. In a healthy person, bilirubin is broken down by the liver and passes out of the body. In some infants, the body is not able to get rid of bilirubin and this causes jaundice. If a medical staff does not detect and treat jaundice in a timely manner, serious or even permanent injury can occur.
Since jaundice is quite common and easy to detect and treat, there should always be questions raised if jaundice in an infant is left untreated. In some cases, it may be a red flag sign of medical negligence or recklessness. If your child was born with jaundice and that jaundice went untreated, causing serious injury to your child, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your situation. You may have a personal injury claim in Miami or your community.Understanding Jaundice-Related Birth Injury in Miami and Florida
Babies may be more at risk of jaundice if:
- They are premature
- They are breast-fed
- They have an underlying condition (such as Gilbert syndrome, abnormal blood cell shapes, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, liver and digestive system disorders, Rotor syndrome, cystic fibrosis, hepatitis, immune problems, or Crigler-Najjar syndrome)
- There is a difficult birth, leading to bleeding under the scalp
- There is a genetic predisposition for jaundice
- They have a blood type that does not match their mother’s
- They have an infection
Medical staff should be able to notice and treat jaundice easily, since it is a common issue with infants. Jaundice also produces very clear symptoms, such as excessive fatigue, yellow skin and eyes, and lack of interest in feeding. In addition, many hospitals have policies to check baby bilirubin levels within 24 hours of birth through a simple blood test. In cases where a baby is tested and where medical providers miss the symptoms or fail to provide treatment for the condition, parents may seek a medical malpractice claim in Miami or their community.
Infants who have untreated jaundice are at risk of serious or even permanent injury, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain injury or brain damage
- Hearing impairment
At the Flaxman Law Group, we focus on birth injury cases and personal injury claims in Miami and across South Florida. With offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, the Flaxman Law Group has been part of the southern Florida community for years and has dedicated its resources to helping personal injury victims and birth injury victims live the fullest lives possible. Whether you need help consulting with an insurance company, need legal advice, want to understand your options, or want to pursue a medical malpractice claim in Miami or your community, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your options.