Virtually all obstetricians, midwives, maternity ward nurses and other health care professionals involved with births know that jaundice is a warning sign of potential trouble that should not go untreated. If your baby had yellowish, discolored skin soon after birth, your physician most likely took note of it and if warranted, recommended treatment. If he or she did not, and your baby suffered negative outcomes because of the lack of treatment, you should discuss the case with a birth injury attorney. Rush & Gransee, L.C., can evaluate this or any type of birth injury case and advise you of your options.
Untreated jaundice may lead to lasting brain damage (called kernicterus), leading to deafness, seizures and/or cerebral palsy.When Jaundice is Cause for Concern Shortly After Birth
About 50 percent of babies have some degree of jaundice soon after birth. Besides yellowish skin, babies with jaundice may show diminished levels of activity and dehydration. Many mild cases of jaundice go away on their own as the baby nurses more successfully. When jaundice does not resolve itself promptly, closer scrutiny becomes necessary, as well as treatment with light; in extreme cases, a blood transfusion may be appropriate.
Recommended areas of vigilance and care for a baby with jaundice include:
- Closely observing to verify whether the jaundice goes away, continues or worsens
- Educating parents how to continue the observations upon leaving the hospital
- Ensuring that the child is consuming adequate breast milk and if not, supplementing with formula
- Exposing the baby to light — either sunlight or special phototherapy lamps
- Frequently checking (with heel-prick blood tests or by other methods) levels of bilirubin, the pigment that causes the yellowish tint to the skin
Failure to properly diagnose and treat a baby with jaundice, on the other hand, amounts to medical malpractice and a birth injury claim in many cases.Did Your Baby Suffer Lasting Disability Because Doctors did not Properly Diagnose or Treat Jaundice?
Is your child left with a permanent disability because a doctor failed to diagnose and treat jaundice? Rush & Gransee, L.C., can help you assess the projected lifetime costs of a birth injury such as repercussions of jaundice. We have ample experience compiling effective birth injury claims and lawsuits in Texas. Contact us at 210-223-9200 or by email to schedule a free initial consultation with a San Antonio birth injury lawyer.