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Elevated Bilirubin Birth Injuries

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The time surrounding the birth of a child comes with many challenges and many joys. However, if the infant was in some way harmed during the labor or delivery process, the situation could quickly turn into a tragedy. There are several different types of birth injuries that could affect a child and when it occurred because of the negligence of a doctor or nurse, they should be held accountable for what they have done. Depending on the severity of the situation, the child could be left with long-term disabilities and be in need on constant care and attention.
What is bilirubin?

One situation that can lead to a birth injury is elevated levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is a substance that is found in bile and it is the byproduct of the breaking down of old red blood cells by the liver. It is then expelled from the body and is what gives the stool its normal color. There are two types of bilirubin, indirect and direct, or unconjugated and conjugated. Indirect bilirubin is insoluble until it travels through the blood stream and is changed into direct bilirubin. Direct or conjugated bilirubin is soluble and is produced after the indirect bilirubin has passed through the liver. The total amount of bilirubin in the body can be measured by testing the blood. In order to test the amount of indirect bilirubin in the blood, the total and direct levels must be examined.

When the amount of bilirubin in the body is elevated, it can result in jaundice. This is a common concern in newborn babies and signs to look for are yellow skin and eyes. There are different causes for jaundice, but some include bile duct blockage, liver disease, and blood disorders. Any type of complication affects the body’s ability to expel bile could result in jaundice or a similar condition. Why is this serious? In a newborn child, jaundice that goes untreated could result in permanent disabilities, including:

  • Brain damage
  • Loss of hearing
  • Physical complications
  • Eye muscle problems

In extreme cases, the child might even die from this condition. There are different ways to treat elevated bilirubin, but the two main ways are through phototherapy and blood transfusions. In phototherapy, the baby is put under florescent lights which change the bile into a form that is more easily expelled from the body. A blood transfusion may also be used in order to attempt to lower the levels of bilirubin in the blood.

Jaundice occurs because there was elevated bilirubin in the bloodstream. A doctor cannot be blamed for the child undergoing this type of complication, but they are responsible for what they do when the child shows signs of jaundice. If they exhibit any type of negligence, do not notice symptoms, or fail to accurately treat the child, you could have a medical malpractice case. Especially if your child suffered from any of the serious side effects of jaundice, they could need lifelong care. Not only that, but their life will be forever changed because of the negligence.

If you believe that your child suffered because of medical malpractice, please contact our team as soon as possible. The New York birth injury attorneys at our firm have over 60 years of combined experience and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We can help you file a claim and take care of all the legal processes so that you can focus on yourself and your family. Call our firm today!