Birth-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino understands what parents go through when their newborn baby suffers a birth injury that could have been prevented. The psychological impact of a birth injury on a family is even more traumatic when the family learns that a mistake made by a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare provider before, during, or after the birth process was a cause of their child’s injury.
Experienced Attorneys Who Know Birth Injuries
Birth complications that result in newborn jaundice may occur for a number of reasons. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most newborns’ jaundice occurs naturally, is very mild, and will disappear within a few days.
In many cases, however, newborn jaundice is a preventable condition that may be due to medical negligence. Birth-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino can provide you with information about newborn jaundice and the medical implications that can result from this condition, such as cerebral palsy or another serious, but preventable, form of brain damage known as kernicterus.
If medical negligence was a cause of your child’s newborn jaundice, our highly trained and committed attorneys will take aggressive action to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable for your child’s injuries. If your child was diagnosed with newborn jaundice and you suspect medical negligence was a cause of your baby’s jaundice, contact birth injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for compassionate, sympathetic, yet aggressive legal service.
As many as six out of ten infants born in the United States are diagnosed with jaundice, which can lead to more severe medical problems if not properly treated in a timely manner. When babies are a few days old, their skin slowly begins to turn yellow. The yellow color comes from the color of bilirubin. Untreated bilirubin or jaundice can lead to kernicterus (which can result in severe brain damage if not treated in a timely manner), cerebral palsy, hypoplasia, and loss of hearing or vision. Symptoms of newborn jaundice include lethargy, a high-pitched cry, fever, and arched back.
A large scalp bruise called a cephalohematoma, which is a collection of clotted blood just beneath the skin surface, can occur during the birthing process. As a baby’s body naturally breaks down this clotted blood, a large amount of bilirubin is released at once. This sudden excess in serum bilirubin may be too much for the baby’s liver to handle, and jaundice will develop, which can lead to other medical problems.
Legal Liability for Newborn Jaundice
Newborn jaundice or complications resulting from newborn jaundice can occur as a result of negligence on the part of medical professionals or as a result of negligence of the hospital in which a child is born and treated subsequent to birth.
Liability of Medical Personnel for Jaundice Complications
Doctors and/or nurses and other medical personnel who fail to test for and treat newborn jaundice in a timely and effective manner may be held directly liable in a medical malpractice action for a child’s newborn-jaundice complication injuries if it is determined that the negligence of such medical personnel was a cause of the child’s jaundice-complication injuries.
For example, when a doctor fails to recognize the severity of a child’s jaundice or misdiagnoses the condition, the child may suffer kernicterus as a result. If the doctor’s misdiagnosis or failure to recognize the severity of a child’s jaundice is found to constitute medical negligence, the doctor may be found directly liable for the damages suffered by the child as a result of the child’s condition.
A doctor may also be found liable for failing to properly treat newborn jaundice even after it has been timely and correctly diagnosed. An appropriate treatment for high levels of bilrubin, for example, involves the delivery of phototherapy through a blanket or light source around a baby’s incubator or bassinet, or a blood transfusion if the bilbrubin in your baby’s body reaches extreme levels. A failure to take such measures after a baby’s jaundice has been diagnosed may be found to constitute medical malpractice and resulting liability on the part of the doctor for the injuries suffered by the child as a result of the doctor’s negligent treatment of the condition.
Liability of Hospital for Jaundice Complications
In some cases, a hospital and its administrators may be found either directly or indirectly liable for the injuries suffered by a child as a result of untreated jaundice.
Direct Liability of Hospital and Administrators
If, for example, a hospital failed to institute procedures and policies for the timely detection and treatment of newborn jaundice, the hospital may be held directly liable for injuries suffered by a child as a result of jaundice complications if it is determined that the hospital’s negligence in failing to adopt adequate procedures and policies was a cause of the child’s jaundice complications.
A hospital administrator may also be held directly liable for newborn-jaundice complications if the hospital failed to adequately educate and train its medical personnel regarding the serious risks associated with newborn jaundice, the necessity for early detection and treatment, and the proper methods of early detection and treatment.
Indirect or Vicarious Liability of Hospital or Administrators
A hospital and its administrators may also be held indirectly, or vicariously, liable for a baby’s newborn-jaundice complication injuries even when the hospital’s or administrators’ negligence was not a cause of the child’s injuries. If, for example, a doctor’s or nurse’s negligence is determined to have been a cause of the child’s injuries, the hospital and administrators, as the nurse’s or doctor’s employer, may be held indirectly liable for the injuries caused by their employees’ negligence.
Contact the Child Injury Firm for Help
If your suspect that your doctor failed to properly diagnose and/or properly treat your child’s jaundice, contact experienced newborn-jaundice and birth-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino at (877) 875-2927 or fill out and submit the email form below. One of our experienced birth-injury lawyers will contact you promptly and advise you of your legal options.