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16 Oct 2009

Hyperbilirubinemia & Michigan Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

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Our Michigan birth injury lawyers handle cases involving hyperbilirubinemia. Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition characterized by excess bilirubin in blood. When the condition is not timely diagnosed and treated and an baby suffers injuries, it can give rise to a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit.

Hyperbilirubinemia Facts

Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition in which there is excess bilirubin in blood. Bilirubin is formed by the break down of red blood cells. It is not simply for babies to get rid of bilirubin, and this substance tends to build up in blood and other fluids and tissues of the body. This is known as hyperbilirubinemia. As bilirubin has a yellow coloring, it causes the yellowing of skin and tissues, also known as jaundice.

Causes of Hyperbilirubinemia

In the course of pregnancy, the placenta excretes bilirubin. After the infant is born, the liver of the infant must take over this function. Some causes of hyperbilirubinemia include:

  • Physiologic jaundice – this occurs as a normal response to the infant’s limited ability to excrete bilirubin in the early days of life
  • Breast milk jaundice – nearly 2 percent of all breastfed babies develop this jaundice after the 1st week.
  • Jaundice from hemolysis – this occurs when the hemolytic disease in the newborn causes the breakdown of red blood cells
  • Inadequate liver function – the infant may also be jaundiced due to inadequate liver function

Hyperbilirubinemia – A Concern

This condition can become a serious concern if large amounts of bilirubin are excreted into the blood. In those times, bilirubin can also cause permanent damage to the brain, developing a condition called kernicterus.

Symptoms of Hyperbilirubinemia

The most common symptoms of bilirubinemia are as follows:

  • Lethargy and poor feeding
  • Yellow coloring of the infant’s skin, usually starting from the facing and progressing downwards

Treatment for Hyperbilirubinemia

Treatment for hyperbilirubinemia is determined by the physician on the basis of baby’s age, overall health, medical history, baby’s tolerance for particular medications or therapies and your personal opinion and preference.

Some common treatment measures include:

  • Phototherapy
  • Fiberoptic blanket
  • Exchange transfusion to replace the damaged blood with fresh blood
  • Ceasing breastfeeding for 1-2 days
  • Treating an underlying cause that may be causing hyperbilirubinemia

Contact a Michigan Hyperbilirubinemia Malpractice Lawyer

If an infant suffers hyperbilirubinemia because a medical condition was not timely diagnosed and treated, it can give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit.  Hyperbilirubinemia can affect the social, academic and vocational upbringing of the infant. These often require services that amount to a significant expense over a child’s lifetime and are sought as damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

It is essential to contact a malpractice attorney as soon as possible so that we can obtain your child’s complete medical chart to determine whether there was negligence involved in the treatment.  Call (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our top rated Michigan birth injury attorneys about your hyperbilirubinemia malpractice case. There are strict time delays for filing medical malpractice lawsuits in Michigan so it is essential to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to see if your child has valid case.

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