Kernicterus is a type of brain damage that can result from not properly treating newborns with jaundice. It can lead to seizures, poor motor development, sensory problems, and several other disabilities. It is the responsibility of the treating physician and his staff to monitor newborns closely, recognize the signs of jaundice, and promptly treat them so that kernicterus does not result.
If your child developed kernicterus from a birth injury, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and recover compensation. A kernicterus birth injury lawyer from Newsome | Melton can help you take action and hold the responsible party or parties liable.
We offer a free consultation and never collect a fee until you recover damages. To speak with a member of our staff today, call us at 888-526-8947.
How Your Doctor Could Be Responsible for Your Child’s Kernicterus Birth Injury
Kernicterus happens in babies with jaundice, which results from a buildup of bilirubin in the bloodstream. You can tell when a baby has jaundice by the yellow hue of her skin. Jaundice is very common, affecting as many as 80% of newborns, and it usually goes away on its own, causing no lasting damage. When it does not resolve, though, intervention is critical because sustained high bilirubin levels can lead to brain damage.
Your doctor has a duty of care to recognize the signs of jaundice in the hours, days, and weeks following the birth of your child. If your doctor or his staff miss signs and symptoms and as a result fail to administer proper treatment, they could be liable for any lasting damage to your child that results.
Here are the common signs of jaundice that your doctor must recognize:
- Skin color changes, starting at the head and usually showing up as a yellowish or orangish tint
- Difficulty waking up
- Difficulty going to sleep
- Difficulty feeding (either breast or bottle)
- Fewer than average diaper changes
If you took your child to the doctor with any of these symptoms, your doctor did not test for jaundice, and your child subsequently developed kernicterus, we can help you pursue a medical malpractice claim against your doctor and recover damages.
Testing for and Treating Jaundice
Your doctor should have tested your baby’s bilirubin level shortly after birth. If it was elevated — which is in more than half of babies born in the United States — your doctor had a duty to monitor your baby to make sure the level receded on its own.
If your child’s bilirubin level remained high for an extended period, your doctor should have intervened. Depending on the circumstances, effective treatments for jaundice include phototherapy and blood transfusions.
An attorney from Newsome | Melton can demonstrate how your doctor or his staff did not uphold their duty of care by taking the necessary steps to treat your child. We can show they are liable for your child’s kernicterus birth injury. For a free consultation, call 888-526-8947 today.
Newsome | Melton Helps You Take Legal Action for Your Child’s Kernicterus Birth Injury
The kernicterus birth injury lawyers at Newsome | Melton have fought and won many medical malpractice lawsuits for our clients and their injured children. We understand what goes into a successful malpractice claim. We can make sure yours proves the following:
- Your doctor owed you a duty of care.
- Your doctor failed to uphold his or her duty of care.
- Your doctor’s failure caused your child to suffer a kernicterus birth injury.
- You incurred economic or non-economic damages because of your child’s injury.
Duty of Care
First, we can show that your doctor or his staff member that you allege is responsible owed you and your child a duty of care. This duty exists between all doctors and their patients, and it extends to nurses, lab technicians, and other healthcare professionals involved in your treatment.
Failure to Uphold Duty
Second, we can demonstrate how the responsible party did not uphold his duty of care to you and your child. A doctor’s duty of care requires him to provide the same level or better care as one would expect of a reasonable person in the same situation.
We can bring in medical experts to serve as the reasonable person. Our expert witnesses will review the evidence and testify as to how your doctor or his staff fell short in their duty.
Kernicterus Birth Injury
Third, we can connect your doctor’s lack of care to your child’s kernicterus birth injury. We use evidence including medical records, lab test results, physicians’ statements, and expert witness testimony to make this link clear.
Economic or Non-Economic Damages
Fourth, and most importantly, we list the economic and non-economic damages you have incurred as a direct result of your child’s birth injury
The Newsome | Melton Team Helps You Recover Fair Compensation
You could be eligible to recover a long list of damages for your child’s kernicterus birth injury. These include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Costs of ongoing care for your child
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
Statute of Limitations
It is essential to take action right away if you believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. No matter how strong your case, if you do not file within your state’s statute of limitations, you can lose your right to recover compensation.
A kernicterus birth injury lawyer can take quick legal action if needed to preserve your right to damages.