Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition where there is too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. While a baby is a fetus, the placenta excretes bilirubin. Once a baby is born, it's brand new liver is charged with the duty of moving bilirubin out of the body. Often, a newborn baby's liver cannot remove bilirubin fast enough, leading to hyperbilirubinemia.
There are many potential causes of hyperbilirubinemia, which most of us recognize as a baby that appears yellow or "jaundiced." Common causes include:
- physiologic (normal slow start to life outside the womb);
- breast milk (refusal of breast milk leading to dehydration);
- hemolysis (Rh disease); and
- inadequate liver function (problem with the liver).
As many as 60% of newborns are born with some degree of jaundice. While low levels of bilirubin are not a cause for concern, high levels of bilirubin can lead to brain damage, including:
The hospital where you deliver your baby, a neonatologist, or pediatrician should monitor your newborn's bilirubin levels by drawing blood. If your baby's bilirubin is not properly monitored, he or she may be a risk for brain damage and permanent disabilities.
The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases. If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now
at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.