Michigan Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Obtain $5.9 Million Settlement for a Child with Kernicterus & Cerebral Palsy

A child has cerebral palsy because physicians failed to properly treat high bilirubin levels (which cause jaundice ) in a newborn.  Testing for and treating elevated bilirubin levels (hyperbilirubinemia) is very easy and there is no excuse for a child to suffer brain damage from this condition.

Jaundice occurs when red blood cells break down and bilirubin (a by-product of this breakdown) floods the baby’s body.  Excess bilirubin causes the baby’s skin and eyes to have a yellowish appearance (jaundice), and a little yellowing occurs in many babies because all babies experience a period of rapid red blood cell breakdown.  Most babies can easily process the bilirubin.  But in some babies, the blood cells break down faster than normal and the body can’t easily metabolize the bilirubin.  This can cause the it to build up in the baby’s blood, and when this happens, the bilirubin can enter the baby’s brain tissue.  Bilirubin is toxic to brain tissue, and can cause permanent brain damage called kernicterus, which can then cause the child to have cerebral palsy.

MICHIGAN CEREBRAL PALSY LAWYERS DISCUSS TREATMENTS FOR JAUNDICE & HYPERBILIRUBINEMIA

Hyperbilirubinemia is easily diagnosed with simple blood tests, and it can be treated with phototherapy, which is when the baby isMichigan cerebral palsy lawyers discuss phototherapy for jaundice to prevent kernicterus & cerebral palsy placed under special lights that decrease bilirubin levels.  A fiberoptic phototherapy blanket and a blood exchange transfusion can also be used for treatment.

If there is an underlying condition causing the hyperbilirubinemia, it should also be treated.  Infections, sepsis, and brain bleeds caused by forceps and vacuum extractor deliveries also can cause elevated bilirubin levels.  Premature birth and blood group incompatibilities between the baby and mother may additionally cause high bilirubin levels.

MICHIGAN CEREBRAL PALSY LAWYERS DISCUSS CEREBRAL PALSY & ITS CAUSES

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that cause a child to have problems with movement, balance, coordination and posture, and it is caused by injury to the developing brain.  This means a child can get the condition until she is approximately three years of age, although sometimes the condition isn’t diagnosed until a child is four or five years old.

Kernicterus refers to yellow staining of the deep nuclei of the brain, namely the basal ganglia, which is a collection of distinct masses of gray matter.  Kernicterus involves specific movement disorders, hearing loss or deafness, and impairment of eye movement.  Children with kernicterus typically have a dystonic or athetoid form of cerebral palsy.  Athetoid refers to slow, writhing, involuntary movements that occur.  Dystonia, or abnormal muscle tone and position, is more common, and may occur with or without athetosis.

Aside from kernicterus, other forms of bilirubin-induced brain damage can exist, including intellectual disorders and auditory processing problems.

Other causes of cerebral palsy include lack of oxygen at birth, hypoxic ischemeic encephalopathy (HIE), neonatal encephalopathy (NE), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds), infections in the mother that travel to the baby at birth, such as chorioamnionitis, and seizure disorders.

REITER & WALSH: MICHIGAN CEREBRAL PALSY LAWYERS HELPING CHILDREN FOR ALMOST 3 DECADES

Michigan cerebral palsy lawyers - Jesse ReiterMichigan cerebral palsy lawyers Jesse Reiter (president of ABC Law Centers) and Rebecca Walsh are currently recognized as two of the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report 2015, which also recognized ABC Law Centers as one of the best medical malpractice law firms in the nation.

If your child was diagnosed with a birth injury, such as kernicterus, cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), the award-winning Michigan cerebral palsy lawyers at ABC Law Centers can help.  Email or call Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers at 888-419-2229 for a free case evaluation. Our firm’s award-winning Michigan cerebral palsy lawyers are available 24 / 7 to speak with you.


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