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Causes and complications of newborn jaundice

| Feb 27, 2019 | birth injuries

Some Texas mothers give birth to babies who develop jaundice. For many infants, jaundice is normal and is not serious. It usually will go away on its own in a week or two although it may require careful monitoring. Usually, jaundice is just a sign that the child’s liver has not quite started to work at full capacity yet. However, there are also circumstances in which jaundice may happen for other reasons and in which it can become very serious.

The danger with jaundice is that instead of going away, it sometimes turns into a condition called hyperbilirubemia and then into kernicterus. Under normal circumstances, jaundice decreases as the liver begins processing bilirubin correctly. When this does not happen and bilirubin levels continue to climb, the bilirubin could move into the brain and cause a brain injury. Even at this point, it is possible that the long-term consequences will not be serious, but in other cases, kernicterus could lead to such conditions as cerebral palsy, loss of sight or hearing, intellectual disabilities or death.

A difficult delivery that results in bleeding under the scalp, enzyme deficiencies, abnormal blood cell shapes and high red blood cell levels are all other things that can cause jaundice. In some cases, jaundice might be treated with a blood transfusion.

Birth injuries that result in bleeding under the scalp and lead to jaundice could be the result of medical malpractice. Children who suffer birth injuries could be affected by them for their entire lives. Parents may seek compensation if a birth injury happens because of the negligence of a medical professional. An attorney may be able to assist in getting this compensation. Some medical professionals may offer an out-of-court settlement, but if the offer is too low, parents may want to go to court.