Kernicterus/Excessive Jaundice

Jaundice is a common condition in newborns caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. Mild jaundice is harmless and usually goes away in one or two weeks without treatment. Severe jaundice is a serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment to avoid complications such as neonatal kernicterus.

If your child has suffered complications due to the failure to diagnose and treat severe jaundice, contact the attorneys at Hampton & King in Houston. We offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions and explain your options. You may have the right to seek compensation to help pay for your child's future medical needs.

What Is Kernicterus?

When a baby has severe jaundice, high levels of bilirubin can pass into the child's brain. Bilirubin is toxic to brain cells and can cause a condition called acute bilirubin encephalopathy. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent permanent damage to the brain, which is known as kernicterus.

Kernicterus can lead to:

  • Uncontrolled movements or palsy
  • Blindness
  • Upward or downward gaze
  • Hearing loss
  • Impaired digestion

Symptoms of jaundice include yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. In cases of severe jaundice, your baby's skin will become a deeper shade of yellow and he or she may become listless and difficult to wake or have difficulty feeding.

Treatment for excessive jaundice includes light therapy, intravenous immunoglobulin and exchange transfusion. Our lawyers will analyze the medical records and consult pediatric experts to determine if your doctor did everything he or she should have to prevent kernicterus.

To discuss severe jaundice or other childbirth complications with one of our lawyers, call the Houston office of Hampton & King at 713-574-8660. You can also send us an email.