Jaundice | Birth Injury Lawyers - RB Law
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Jaundice | Romanucci & Blandin

Jaundice is a very common condition that many babies are born with, and jaundice is the result of elevated bilirubin levels in the baby’s body.  Jaundice is a condition that is very easy to diagnose and treat and is something that doctors are looking for when they examine newborns.  If untreated, jaundice can escalate and cause a type of brain damage known as kernicterus.  Kernicterus can cause a variety of conditions, including:

If your child has suffered from any brain damage as a result of kernicterus, you may be entitled to receive compensation.

What are the Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Hyperbilirubinemia?

Bilirubin can easily get built up in the baby’s blood and tissue since many babies have a difficult time getting rid of it.  When this happens, it is called hyperbilirubinemia.  Bilirubin has a yellowish pigment that is found in bile and this pigment causes the skin to take on a yellowish appearance and also affects the white parts of the eyes.  In full-term infants, roughly 60% will develop jaundice and 80% of preterm infants will developed it.

The most common symptoms  include:

  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice-a yellowing of the baby’s skin
  • Not eating well

In order to confirm that the baby has hyperbilirubinemia, there are a few different diagnostic tests that can be run.  These tests include:

  • Red blood cell counts
  • Testing of bilirubin levels
  • Blood type and testing for Rh incompatibility

Babies who develop jaundice within 24 hours of birth need to be treated immediately.  Jaundice that occurs 2-3 days after birth is typically called “physiological jaundice,” and is the most common type of jaundice for infants and is not serious.  If jaundice occurs from the third day through the first week, it may be from an infection.  Later cases of jaundice are often associated with breast milk feedings, but there could also be other causes as well.

How it is treated will depend on what caused the hyperbilirubinemia and what the bilirubin level is.  The most common treatments include:

  • Blood transfusion-this can increase the baby’s red blood cell count and reduce their bilirubin level
  • Fiber optic blanket-a type of phototherapy in which a blanket is placed under the baby. This therapy can be used alone or it can be used in conjunction with regular phototherapy.
  • Phototherapy-the baby is placed under a special blue-spectrum light that will decrease their bilirubin levels. The success of phototherapy is measured by blood tests that check the bilirubin levels.
  • Treating any underlying cause of the hyperbilirubinemia, including infection

Free Consultation with a Chicago Birth Injury Attorney

RB Law has vast experience with handling birth injury cases for problems resulting from jaundice.  You need to contact a proficient birth injury attorney right away to help you get the compensation you deserve for your case.

If you have questions regarding your birth injury case, contact us today for a free consultation at (312) 458-1000, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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