Cook County Excessive Newborn Jaundice Attorneys
In many cases, newborns will develop yellow skin and yellow eyes. This condition is called jaundice , which is caused by a substance in the blood called bilirubin. Jaundice is very common in babies and usually goes away on its own.
However, this does not always happen. Occasionally, a baby has problems getting rid of bilirubin. If this substance is allowed to build up, it can cause severe brain damage, which is called kernicterus. Premature babies are at particular risk for excessive jaundice; this because their livers are immature and have difficulty eliminating bilirubin. Common causes of excessive jaundice are scalp bleeding from delivery trauma, Rh or ABO blood incompatibility. An inherited enzyme deficiency can also cause this.
Getting rid of bilirubin — even in babies who have a hard time getting rid of it — is often very easy, if the excess is promptly recognized. That is why it can be especially devastating for families when a doctor’s negligence leads to the failure to diagnose and treat jaundice.
At the Chicago, Illinois, law firm of Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, we represent parents of children injured by kernicterus. Our team of attorneys takes forceful and effective legal action in Illinois courts.
As experienced advocates, we know that victims of medical malpractice can benefit greatly from the services of an attorney and a physician. At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, these diverse professional experiences are all available at a single law firm. Our lawyers have extensive experience handling medical malpractice litigation. In addition, two of our firm’s lawyers are physicians, one of whom is a board-certified cardiologist. Another of our lawyers is a board-certified respiratory therapist. We use our medical and legal knowledge to pursue justice for the families of children who have experienced birth injuries.
Signs of Problems
At the time when severe jaundice needs to be treated, infants usually will not have any specific signs other than the yellow discoloration, though they may be irritable and may not nurse well. Jaundice may be difficult for a parent to recognize in children with darker skin. The whites of the eyes usually have the most visible yellowish coloration.
Early recognition of excessive jaundice is critical to avoid brain injury. When infants are discharged within 48 hours of birth, excessive jaundice may not be evident at hospital discharge. This is one of the many reasons why infants must be seen within 48 to 72 hours of discharge by a qualified health care professional.
We handled a case in which a newborn was unable to clear bilirubin on his own. Unfortunately, his doctor failed to recognize the excess and didn’t treat it until the boy suffered severe brain injury. We represented the family and recovered a pretrial settlement for it in the amount of $2.5 million.
Contact a Chicago Kernicterus Attorney
If your child has sustained a birth injury, talk with an attorney about your options. For a free case review by a lawyer who is also a medical doctor, contact us at (312) 346-8700. You may also contact us online.