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New York Hyperbilirubinemia

Hyperbilirubinemia, also referred to as kernicterus, is a potentially life-threatened brain injury suffered by babies. Hyperbilirubinemia occurs when the baby is extremely jaundiced, meaning that there is a high level of bilirubin in the baby’s system. Hyperbilirubinemia is a very dangerous condition, as it can lead to neurological disorders. However, if jaundice is detected early and properly treated, hyperbilirubinemia can be avoided. If your baby is suffering from a serious injury related to hyperbilirubinemia, you deserve answers. The New York hyperbilirubinemia lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help. We will review the medical records in order to determine what went wrong in the care and treatment of your baby, and we will ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Symptoms of hyperbilirubinemia

Hyperbilirubinemia is a type of jaundice. The most noticeable symptom of jaundice is the yellowish appearance of the baby’s skin and a yellowish tint in the white part of the baby’s eyes. Other symptoms include poor feeding and listlessness. If jaundice is suspected, then it can be confirmed by a blood test or with a skin test with a device called a transcutaneous bilirubinometer. Once the hyperbilirubinemia progresses, symptoms will include

  • High-pitched crying
  • Seizures
  • Bulging on the baby’s “soft spot” (fontanel)
  • Hearing loss
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Problems with movement

If untreated hyperbilirubinemia can lead to serious birth injuries such as cerebral palsy and hearing loss.

Risk factors for hyperbilirubinemia

There are risk factors that make it more likely that a baby will suffer hyperbilirubinemia. For example, the presence of maternal-fetal blood group incompatibility (Rh, ABO), meaning an incompatibility between the baby’s blood and the mother’s blood, the level of bilirubin are likely to be high. Also, if the baby has problems feeding and as a result does not intake an adequate amount of breast milk, the baby may become dehydrated and as a result there will be a decrease in the amount of bilirubin that leaves the baby’s body. Other risk factors for jaundice include prematurity, maternal diabetes, infection, Crigler-Najjar syndrome, Gilbert syndrome, and hepatitis.

If any of these risk factors are present, it is imperative that the doctor test for high levels of bilirubin and carefully monitor the baby.

Pursuing compensation for hyperbilirubinemia

While it may not be the doctor’s fault that your baby was jaundiced, your doctor could certainly have made sure that the levels did not become so high that your baby suffered a serious, permanent injury. As a New York hyperbilirubinemia lawyer will explain, if your baby’s suffers a serious injury related to hyperbilirubinemia because your doctor failed to detect and properly treat your baby’s high levels of bilirubin, then your doctor may have committed medical malpractice.

Doctors are trained to understand the signs of jaundice. Thus, a doctor should be able recognize jaundice and begin treatment. Typically, mistakes that may result in a child being seriously injured due to hyperbilirubinemia, include:

  • Doctor failed to recognize signs of jaundice such as yellowing of the baby’s skin.
  • Doctor diagnosed jaundice, but failing to understand that the bilirubin had reached a critically high level.
  • Doctor treated jaundice, but failing to properly monitor the baby to ensure that the treatment was effective.
  • Doctor failed to test for high levels of bilirubin despite the presence of risk factors.

If you are concerned that your doctor made a mistake that led to your baby sustaining a serious injury due to hyperbilirubinemia, a skilled hyperbilirubinemia attorney in New York can help.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If your baby suffered a brain injury due to hyperbilirubinemia, you deserve to know what happened. If your baby’s injury was caused by negligent care by a medical professional, it is important that you have experienced legal representation. The hyperbilirubinemia attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients who have suffered serious injuries due to negligence. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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