Ohio Birth Injury Attorney – Helping You When Hyperbilirubinemia Occurs
Assisting Parents Whose Children Suffered from Hyperbilirubinemia
When infants are born with high levels of bilirubin in their bloodstreams, serious injuries can result, including preventable brain damage called kernicterus. Medical professionals should identify when a newborn has hyperbilirubinemia and should take steps to address the situation to prevent brain injuries and disabilities. If your child did not receive the treatment that was necessary for hyperbilirubinemia, you should speak with a birth injury attorney about your rights moving forward.
Failure to Treat Hyperbilirubinemia
Bilirubin is a byproduct of heme, which is part of what is left over when red blood cells break down. If too much heme collects in the blood or other tissues, bilirubin will be elevated. Excess bilirubin often collects first in the liver and then spreads to the skin, eyes, and brain. Increased bilirubin in the brain can cause serious damage, so doctors should always be concerned when an infant develops hyperbilirubinemia.
High levels of bilirubin are often detected when the skin turns yellowish. This condition is called jaundice. Jaundice is a sign of elevated bilirubin. However, observing skin tone should not be the only measure taken to identify hyperbilirubinemia. Jaundice might not be obvious in some infants with darker skin tones. Even in babies with fair skin, jaundice is not always noticed. For that reason, testing is used to look for hyperbilirubinemia in newborns. When detected, hyperbilirubinemia can be treated with phototherapy – or, when severe -- with blood transfusions.
When high bilirubin levels are present but not detected, the brain can suffer damage. This damage is called kernicterus. There are many injuries associated with kernicterus, including:
- Dental issues
- Movement impairments
- Vision impairments
Once an infant develops kernicterus, there is no cure. This is why it is so important to prevent kernicterus in the first place by diagnosing and treating hyperbilirubinemia and jaundice.
What Parents Can Do after a Possible Birth Injury
When a child suffers brain damage or other injuries because a doctor or hospital failed to diagnose a treatable condition, the doctor or hospital should be held accountable in a medical malpractice action. Brain damage and the resulting impairments can cause many problems in the lives of children and their parents, and they should be fully compensated for your all associated harms and losses, both tangible and intangible.
Proving medical malpractice can be challenging, so it is critical that you have an experienced birth injury attorney handling your claim. We can help you recover financially for medical expenses, permanent impairments, lost income, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering that could have been prevented had the doctors promptly diagnosed and treated the child’s hyperbilirubinemia.
Contact an Ohio Hyperbilirubinemia Lawyer for More Information
The Eisen Law Firm is ready to assist your family after a birth injury. We handle claims involving many types of medical conditions of a mother and child, and we can assess whether you have a possible case. Call 216-687-0900 or contact us online for a free consultation with a birth injury attorney in Ohio today.