Skilled Attorneys Representing Victims of Jaundice-Related Medical Malpractice in South Carolina
Let our distinguished South Carolina lawyers protect your child’s rights after a medical error causes harm
Many medical problems during pregnancy can be solved with prompt and effective treatment. Jaundice, caused by elevated bilirubin levels, is one of those problems. The symptoms and treatments are well known and should be anticipated by the treating health care professionals. When treatment isn’t given or is not given properly, complications can include brain damage and other brain-related disorders.
At McGowan, Hood, and Felder, LLC, our lawyers understand the symptoms of jaundice, the common remedies, and the usual complications. We fight for children who are injured medical misconduct—and for the parents who only want to see their child healthy. For many years, parents have used our South Carolina birth injury attorneys to fight for justice when their child is harmed because doctors failed to give proper medical care.
How jaundice is diagnosed and treated
Bilirubin is a chemical compound caused when the body clears itself of old red blood cells that contain hemoglobin. The yellow pigmentation seen in jaundice and bruises is due to bilirubin. A buildup of bilirubin in an infant is called hyperbilirubinemia. The compound is normally excreted in the infant’s bile and urine. More than half of all full-term babies develop high bilirubin levels, and 80% of premature babies develop jaundice.
Obstetricians and other birth injury health care providers should look for the yellow sign of jaundice. Other signs include fatigue and poor appetite. Physicians should conduct the following tests if high bilirubin is suspected.
- Test the child’s bilirubin levels
- Test the child’s red blood cell count
- Test the child’s blood type
- Test for Rh incompatibility with the mother
Many infants who develop jaundice 2-4 days after birth do not develop complications. They should still be monitored to determine if the bilirubin is leaving their body. Infants who develop jaundice within 24 hours should get immediate treatment. The development of jaundice after several days usually indicates the child has an infection, which is sometimes caused by breast milk feedings.
A child’s liver can over-process bilirubin, and that can cause jaundice. Other causes may include scalp bleeding due to a tough delivery, infection, low enzyme counts, and high levels of red blood cells.
High bilirubin/jaundice treatments
Doctors need to determine the cause of the jaundice before giving treatment. The treatment should match the cause. Some of the usual treatments are:
- A blood transfusion. This reduces the bilirubin level by increasing the red blood cell count.
- Phototherapy. A fiber optic blanket is placed under the baby. The blanket may be combined with other forms of phototherapy, also called light therapy. Fluorescent lamps, light-emitting diodes, and blue-spectrum lights are three forms of light therapy.
- Treating the underlying cause. If the cause of the jaundice, for example, is an infection, then the infection should be treated.
Medical malpractice and jaundice
If jaundice is not properly treated, the child can develop a form of brain damage known as kernicterus. Kernicterus is caused by too much bilirubin in the brain. Kernicterus, in turn, can cause:
- Cerebral palsy
- Loss of hearing and vision
- Intellectual disability
At McGowan, Hood, and Felder, our South Carolina birth injury attorneys work with birth doctors who understand the both the signs of jaundice and the subsequent appropriate treatments. Health care providers who damage a child’s life by failing to look for the common signs and fail to properly treat jaundice should be held accountable for the child’s medical bills, loss of quality of life, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Make the call to a South Carolina birth injury attorney who offers professional advocacy for your child
The South Carolina birth injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood, and Felder, LLC diligently fight to protect the rights of children and parents hurt by medical malpractice. Our lawyers work to hold careless or irresponsible doctors, hospitals, and other wrongdoers accountable for the harm they cause. We work with medical professionals who understand the proper ways to treat high bilirubin levels in infants and can explain why the treating doctors failed to give proper medical care. For help now and immediate answers, call our lawyers at 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form. Our lawyers meet with clients in Anderson, Rock Hill, Columbia, Sumter, and Georgetown.