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Injuries to Babies

Neonatal Jaundice and Kernicterus - Claims

Whilst jaundice is a common condition and if treated correctly, not harmful to newborns if it is not recognised or treated in a timely manner then excessive jaundice in newborn babies can cause Kernicteus. This is a ‘preventable and potentially catastrophic form of permanent brain damage’.

What is jaundice?

Bilirubin is formed when red blood cells break down. Because they produce two or three times more bilirubin than an adult, babies are not able to get rid of the bilirubin easily and it can build up in the blood and other tissues of the baby's body. This is called hyperbilirubinemia. It is the bilirubin that collects under the skin that causes the classic yellow colouring which is called jaundice.

It is normal for a baby's bilirubin level to be a bit higher after birth and whilst it can’t be prevented, your medical team would be expected to recognise the signs and symptoms of hyperbilirubinemia and treatment should be started immediately to prevent the bilirubin from reaching dangerous levels. Failure to do so would be classed as substandard care.The condition should always be diagnosed and treated before bilirubin levels become too high and result in brain damage. National guidelines for the treatment of neonatal jaundice has been set out by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

How can a solicitor help you?

Your child may have suffered brain damage as a result of a failure to diagnose and treat neonatal jaundice in a timely manner for which there is no cure. However, there are treatments and therapies available that can help families’ mange the impact of brain damage (cerebral palsy) symptoms such as spasticity, improving communication skills and finding other ways to do things.

We understand that caring for a child with a brain injury caused at birth is both stressful and demanding and can have a severe strain on the financial, psychological and physical health of the whole family.

Our medical negligence team are recognised experts in conducting medical neglect claims and with the involvement of specialists such as care and occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, educational and psychological experts, and accommodation experts, we will help you to secure a financial settlement that will provide both financial security and a care package that will ensure that all of your child's care needs will be met for life which will improve you and your child’s quality of life.

Get In Touch or Call us on 0800 195 8467