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The Girards Law Firm

A Kernicterus Birth Injury Can Result in Permanent Brain Damage for Your Newborn

When babies are born, it is not uncommon for the newborn to suffer from jaundice. Jaundice makes a baby's skin and the white part of their eyes look yellow, which can be alarming to some new parents, even though it's rarely a major issue. Jaundice happens when there is too much of a substance called bilirubin in the child's blood. Bilirubin is a brownish yellow substance found in bile and it is produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells.


In general, jaundice is not serious and is easily treatable. However, if a newborn baby has an abnormally high amount of bilirubin in their blood, the situation becomes much more dire. When there is too much bilirubin in the blood, this can result in a condition called kernicterus. A kernicterus birth injury is very serious because it is a form of brain damage that can cause hearing loss, intellectual disability, and behavior problems.


Signs that a jaundice baby may be dealing with a kernicterus birth injury are extreme lethargy, a high-pitched cry, and decreased muscle tone. It is the responsibility of the doctor to monitor the child, observe these signs of the birth injury and immediately develop a course of action for treatment. Once the signs of kernicterus are obvious, the brain damage is already occurring and doctors must work quickly to save the child. Kernicterus is highly treatable if caught early and handled correctly.


If your child suffered a kernicterus birth injury and you believe the doctor did not act appropriately to diagnose or treat them, it may be time to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney. The Girards Law Firm is available to help individuals in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas and can be reached for a free consultation at 888.333.9709.