Kernicterus, or jaundice-related brain damage, is nearly always preventable. When a child suffers from kernicterus, it is often the result of medical malpractice. As such, the child’s parents may take legal action under Pennsylvania state law by bringing a birth injury lawsuit against the negligent party, with the help of a Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer.
At The Villari Firm, PLLC, we understand the devastating impact birth injuries have on children, their parents, their siblings, and other members of their families. Our firm believes that no individual or family should have to face the immense physical, financial, and emotional consequences of a doctor’s negligence on their own. We are committed to helping families secure the maximum compensation they are owed.
See our case results to learn more about how we’ve helped families like yours. Get in touch with us today to discuss your unique case with our Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer during a free consultation!
Why Do I Need a Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Attorney in Pennsylvania?
Birth injury medical malpractice claims, like other types of personal injury lawsuits, are challenging to prove. These lawsuits are among the most intricate to navigate, owing to the fact that many laws govern the medical profession.
Any case filed under the medical malpractice umbrella in Philadelphia requires the services of The Villari Firm, a personal injury law firm with over two decades of experience, an aggressive approach, and a strong resolve for results-oriented representation. Here are just a few of the many things that we can do for you.
- Help you understand your legal options while building a strong birth injury claim
- Handle all the document filing, record keeping, and all necessary paperwork
- Understand the value of your medical malpractice lawsuit
- Deal with insurance companies and negotiate the maximum settlement possible
- Tap into resources that could help your claim such as medical experts in the field
- Avoid mistakes that could risk you a favorable ruling
- Speed things up and save you time
- Represent you in all legal proceedings from beginning to end
If your child or a family member has been a victim of medical malpractice that results in kernicterus, finding a good Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer is very important. Reach out to us today and let’s begin your journey toward justice and fair compensation right away!
What is Kernicterus?
Kernicterus is brain damage brought on by severe infant jaundice, which causes the skin to turn yellow. Although the majority of jaundice episodes resolve on their own, severe instances, if untreated, can cause brain damage, resulting in permanent disability or even death.
A high level of bilirubin in a baby is known as hyperbilirubinemia. A yellow pigment called bilirubin is produced as the body eliminates old red blood cells. This pigment is what causes infants’ skin to appear yellow, or jaundiced. The baby’s liver must eliminate bilirubin on its own for the first time while the mother is pregnant. Some infants’ livers may be unable to properly eliminate bilirubin, causing an excessive buildup of the material in the body.
While some bilirubin levels are safe, large levels can cause the bilirubin to leave the circulation and gather in the tissues of the brain which leads to kernicterus. Kernicterus is an uncommon but severe condition that typically appears within the first week of a baby’s life. Numerous medical professionals consider kernicterus a “never event,” meaning that it is fully preventable.
If your child was diagnosed with kernicterus, you may be able to file a claim for medical malpractice against doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who failed to give necessary medical care. Immediately get in touch with a Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer to evaluate your case and assess your legal options.
Signs & Symptoms of Kernicterus in Philadelphia
Kernicterus occurs when jaundice, or the yellowing of an infant’s skin and tissues, is not properly treated, leading to a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Because jaundice is relatively common – affecting anywhere from 60 to 80% of infants in the United States — and because it tends to go away on its own, doctors do not always treat it with the urgency they should. However, if bilirubin levels get too high and the child does not receive adequate treatment, he or she can suffer severe brain damage or kernicterus.
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms of jaundice in your infant, see a doctor immediately.
- Skin that appears to have a yellow or orange tint (typically starting at the head)
- Problems feeding (bottle or breast) and/or sleeping
- Less-frequent urination/bowel movements than average
- Severe fussiness
Additionally, you should seek medical professional attention for your child if you notice any signs of kernicterus:
- Shrill, uncontrollable crying
- Lack of energy
- Muscle spasms
- Abnormal eye movement/inability to look up
- Limp or stiff muscles/body
- Sensory problems
- Issues with motor skill development
- Tooth enamel that appears stained
In the simplest terms, kernicterus is caused by the failure to properly treat elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood. If you believe that your child’s condition is the result of medical negligence, we encourage you to reach out to our Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your rights and next steps. Our Philadelphia birth injury lawyer can fight for the fair compensation you are owed.
Kernicterus and Medical Malpractice
While doctors might not be able to stop jaundice, they can stop kernicterus. Competent medical professionals are able to recognize severe jaundice and treat the condition before it progresses to kernicterus. This issue can also be avoided by treating any disorders that could result in kernicterus.
Although doctors occasionally make mistakes, it does not necessarily imply negligence. And this is what makes any medical malpractice lawsuit challenging to establish. Here are some common medical errors made by pediatricians while dealing with neonatal jaundice that can help your medical malpractice case.
- Failure to properly monitor you and the baby throughout the pregnancy, birthing, and labor process.
- Failure to run neonatal tests to check if your baby has severe jaundice.
- Ordering repeat testing to confirm a high bilirubin level before starting treatment.
- Interrupting or delaying therapy while diagnostic tests are undertaken.
- Allowing bilirubin levels to rise dangerously high before intervening.
- Using indirect bilirubin levels rather than total serum bilirubin.
- Failure to look for indicators of acute kernicterus in the newborn.
- Failure to take the newborn’s exact age into account while analyzing bilirubin levels, because the same bilirubin level may be normal at one hourly age but abnormal at another.
Medical malpractice could result from failing to adequately diagnose and treat jaundice before it turns into kernicterus. It could also occur if kernicterus is not treated before it results in severe brain damage. Speak with our Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer if you suspect that your child’s kernicterus was a result of medical malpractice.
Proving Medical Malpractice
When a Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer accepts your case, he must establish that the hospital or doctor who was administering your care was negligent. The following are the things your attorney must demonstrate to prove negligence.
- Duty of Care – you were a patient and the doctor or hospital has a legal “duty of care” for you. That implies the care you received has to be in accordance with accepted medical standards and that the medical or hospital workers are owed to deliver the same level of care that any other peer with an equivalent level of training would have.
- Breach of Duty – the medical professionals caring for you did not deliver the standard care necessary.
- Causation – the breach of duty is what caused your injuries.
- Damages – the extent of the harm your injury has done to you. This can include expenses for hospitalization, more expensive future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any costs associated with adjusting to your injury.
Medical malpractice litigation can be complicated. This is why the personal injury legal team of The Villari Firm’s sole mission is to advocate on behalf of the voiceless victims of medical negligence in Philadelphia. We want to assist you in comprehending the medical and legal realities of birth-related injuries such as kernicterus. Call us now!
Kernicterus Compensation Claims
Since severe newborn jaundice is frequently the cause of kernicterus, the illness may qualify as a birth injury case. You might be eligible to bring a lawsuit if your child’s brain injury resulted from undiagnosed and untreated jaundice or from failing to treat indicators of kernicterus right away. The costs of your child’s continuous therapy and special needs can be covered in part by financial compensation.
With the help of a Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer, you may be able to recover the highest settlement and compensation claims for the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy costs
- Mobility devices if necessary
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Wrongful death
Kernicterus Statute of Limitations
For cases of medical malpractice, Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations that establishes a deadline for filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations states that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a malpractice claim against the medical professionals who caused your child’s kernicterus.
However, Pennsylvania uses a discovery rule, which means that the limitations period will be tolled and will not begin to run until you learned, or reasonably should have discovered, that your child’s injuries were caused by malpractice.
Investigations into cases of medical negligence are difficult and time-consuming. This makes it crucial for you to contact a Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as you are informed of your child’s diagnosis. If you hire a birth injury attorney as soon as possible, they will have more time to develop your case, speak with medical professionals, and safeguard any evidence that might be lost.
Call our Qualified Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer Now!
Kernicterus is a preventable medical condition that happens when doctors fail to appropriately diagnose and treat jaundice. It is a frequent misperception that jaundice in babies is harmless. If left untreated, it can cause severe and lifelong health problems.
If your child suffers from kernicterus, contact our Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer at The Villari Firm. Your child has probably been a victim of medical malpractice in Philadelphia. Our legal team is genuinely concerned for you and your child’s welfare. Any deviation from accepted standards of care should never go unpunished.
Let our Philadelphia Kernicterus Medical Malpractice Lawyer battle for your child’s justice by contacting us today!