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Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

When Newborn Jaundice Becomes Serious – What Every Kentucky Parent Should Know

Jaundice, also known as hyperbilirubinemia, commonly impacts newborns.  It is defined by MedlinePlus.com as “a condition marked by high levels of bilirubin in the blood.  The increased bilirubin cause the infant’s skin and whites of the eyes (sclera) to look yellow.” 

Does your baby have jaundice?
A baby who has jaundice will have a yellow coloring of the skin.  The yellowish hue often starts on the face and moves all the way down to the feet.  The yellow color can be seen when pressing on the child’s skin.  In severe cases, the baby might appear tired or have trouble feeding.

What causes newborn jaundice?

There are many potential causes of jaundice, most of which are not serious.  The following is a list of some of the common causes and types of jaundice, according to MedlinePlus.com:

  • “Physiological jaundice, ” which occurs between 2 to 3 days after birth
  • Breast milk can result in “a substance that increases reuse of bilirubin in the intestines”
  • Prematurity
  • Birth injury, such as cephalohematoma
  • Blood type incompatibility
  • Infection
How is hyperbilirubinemia diagnosed and treated?
The baby’s bilirubin levels will be tested to find out if he or she is suffering from hyperbilirubinemia.  The levels are determined from a blood or skin test.  Early detection of jaundice is crucial in preventing further complications, including brain damage.

Not every case of jaundice will need to be treated. Often times, the physician will recommend nothing more than keeping the baby hydrated.  In some cases, a blue light may be used, known as phototherapy, to help break down the bilirubin in the skin.

What happens if a doctor is negligent?
If your baby’s doctor failed to diagnose and treat the hyperbilirubinemia, it could be considered medical malpractice.  The best thing to do would be to contact a Northern Kentucky birth injury lawyer for legal advice.

For a free case evaluation, contact an experienced Kentucky birth injury attorney at the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson.  You can reach us by calling (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297 or filling out our online form.

We have been helping injured victims in Kentucky and Ohio for over 35 years. Contact us today for advice regarding your birth injury case.

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