Question

Shortly after giving birth in a Pennsylvania hospital, my baby was diagnosed with Kernicterus and suffered brain damage. Can I sue for medical malpractice?

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Carol Nelson Shepherd - Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Carol Nelson Shepherd

Located in Philadelphia, PAFeldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP

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Answer

Expectant parents rely upon medical professionals for prenatal care, during a baby’s delivery and for post-natal follow-ups. To ensure for a mother’s and baby’s health and well-being, certain standards of gynecological and obstetrical care are established and followed by doctors across Pennsylvania. When a doctor deviates from one or more of these standards and fails to diagnose a mother’s pre-eclampsia or recognize that a baby is in distress, serious injury and harm can result.  

Parents of children who are diagnosed with the disease Kernicterus often have many questions about their child’s condition and prognosis. These parents should also know that Kernicterus is 100 percent preventable and that they may be able to take legal action to recover compensation for the injuries and losses their child suffered.

Is Kernicterus Preventable?

Shortly after birth, many babies experience elevated bilirubin levels which can lead to a medical condition called jaundice. Characterized by the yellowing of the skin and eyes, an estimated 60 percent of newborn babies in the United States are diagnosed with jaundice. However, in the vast majority of cases, doctors take appropriate steps to screen for, diagnose and treat jaundice and a baby suffers no long-term side effects or damage.

In cases where bilirubin levels elevate and a doctor fails to take action or takes insufficient action to reduce these levels, a baby may develop Kernicterus and suffer serious brain damage.

Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer in Pennsylvania

For any new parent, learning that a child has been diagnosed with a serious and debilitating disease is a difficult reality to bear. In cases where parents learn that a child’s condition was preventable, it is important to reach out to a birth Injury attorney for advice and representation.

When it comes to Kernicterus and other types of birth injuries caused by negligent medical care providers, nothing can undo the damage or restore a child’s health. However, taking legal action can help parents uncover important truths to enact change and prevent future errors. Additionally, a successful medical malpractice claim can aid in the recovery of much-needed compensation to account for a child’s immediate medical and long-term care needs.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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