When you are expecting a baby, you want to make sure that everything goes smoothly. You try to do what is best for your body, such as eating healthily and taking care of yourself. Most importantly, you want to work with a good medical team that you can trust to care for you and your baby. You expect your doctors to recognize, diagnose, and treat any health conditions before they become serious.

Unfortunately, some doctors fail to recognize even relatively common conditions, such as jaundice. If your doctor let your baby become sick or injured because they missed the signs of newborn jaundice, your family should consult a compassionate birth injury attorney to see if you might be eligible for compensation. An Albany newborn jaundice lawyer could provide you with legal advice you need to pay for any financial losses you sustain while caring for a child with this condition.

What is Newborn Jaundice?

Jaundice, or hyperbilirubinemia, is a condition that can sometimes manifest in newborns. It occurs when the baby’s bloodstream contains too much bilirubin, which is a protein that develops naturally when part of a person’s red blood cells breaks down. Jaundice occurs when a newborn’s liver is not sufficiently developed to remove the bilirubin from the bloodstream.

Because jaundice occurs so frequently in newborns, many hospitals and birth centers have developed specific protocols for recognizing it. Hospitals often test for it before sending a baby home. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can also usually recognize jaundice because it causes yellowing in a newborn’s skin and eyes.

Most hospitals also have specific procedures for treating this condition. A seasoned Albany attorney could investigate if a hospital staff failed to recognize and diagnose jaundice in a newborn baby.

How to Treat Jaundice

If healthcare workers recognize jaundice quickly, it does not usually develop into a serious illness. Some babies with the mildest cases recover on their own, while others need minor treatments to lower the bilirubin level in their bloodstream. Doctors might encourage more frequent feedings to prevent weight loss. Some babies might benefit from phototherapy, where they rest under a special lamp. If the jaundice is more serious, doctors could treat the baby with different types of blood transfusions.

If the medical staff failed to act in accordance with reasonable medical practices in their treatment of newborn jaundice, an Albany attorney could determine if there is an opening for a malpractice claim.

Possible Complications of Jaundice in Newborns

If properly diagnosed and treated, jaundice generally resolves with no lingering complications. However, untreated jaundice can lead to long-term problems. Too much bilirubin can affect a baby’s brain development. Brain damage, cognitive difficulties, cerebral palsy, seizures, hearing loss, and diminished motor control can all occur.

Most cases of jaundice should quickly resolve. If a doctor allows jaundice to develop into a serious condition, they should be held accountable for their negligence and the losses that that child may have to endure for the rest of their life.

Let an Albany Newborn Jaundice Attorney Assist Your Family

Caring for a child with special needs can be both emotionally and financially draining. A child with untreated jaundice might need specialized care for the rest of their life and their parent might need to leave their job to become their caregiver. If the family cannot meet their baby’s needs at home, they might need to hire medical caregivers or move the child to a specialized facility. All of this care can be extremely expensive.

If a hospital failed to diagnose and treat your baby for jaundice, your child could suffer injuries that should have been prevented. While a monetary judgment cannot cure your child, it could give your family the means to pay for necessary care. Let an Albany newborn jaundice lawyer represent you in this claim.