Medical Malpractice Lawyers with a Focus on Kernicterus

The medical malpractice and birth injury lawyers at Michels & Lew may be able to represent you if your newborn child has suffered as the result of kernicterus. We are prepared to assist you in any birth injury case and have the resources, skill and experience for even the most medically complex cases including those involving kernicterus. We have recovered over $1 billion during the last several decades for our injured clients.

What Causes Kernicterus and What are the Symptoms?

Kernicterus is a type of brain damage that results from excessive jaundice. While jaundice is present in about 60% of newborns in the United States and is quite easily treated, the condition can become serious and lead to catastrophic injuries if not properly treated. Jaundice is caused by high levels of bilirubin and, when it is not diagnosed or treated effectively, can not only effect the blood of the child and lead to yellowing of the skin, it can lead to irreversible brain damage and severe developmental disabilities. If your child was not given the proper care, was not diagnosed quickly enough or not given appropriate treatment for jaundice, kernicterus may be the cause of your baby's condition.

Symptoms of kernicterus may include excessive lethargy, decreased muscle tone, fever, and muscle spasms that may lead to extreme arching of the head and back. Left untreated, it can lead to deafness, movement disorders, difficulties with eye-sight and a form of cerebral palsy. While this condition is extremely serious, it typically can be treated if medical professionals respond appropriately before permanent damage is done. Some common mistakes that physicians or other health care providers may make that lead to excessive jaundice and kernicterus:

  • Failing to properly diagnose kernicterus
  • Not identifying higher risk factors
  • Misdiagnosing kernicterus as minor jaundice
  • Recommending an ineffective treatment for kernicterus or jaundice
  • Not ordering the appropriate tests to determine bilirubin levels
  • Misreading the results of diagnostic tests
  • Failing to offer effective treatment in a timely manner

If you suspect your child has developed kernicterus, lawyers at Michels & Lew will provide a thorough analysis of your case and determine its merits. For immediate assistance, call the birth injury and kernicterus injury attorneys of Michels & Lew at 800-639-1400.