Failure to Diagnose Kernicterus in Oregon: Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Understanding how a Failure to Diagnose Kernicterus Could be Portland Medical Malpractice


One of the most dangerous instances of Oregon medical malpractice that you may never have heard of is the failure to diagnose kernicterus.  This can be a very serious birth injury which may lead to permanent and debilitating personal injuries to a newborn.  These injuries may effect an entire family as a person’s care and treatment may need to be taken care of from birth through the rest of his or her life.  If a newborn was not diagnosed with kernicterus, it could be due to careless, reckless, or negligent conduct and the victim’s family should discuss with a Portland medical malpractice lawyer.


What is Kernicterus?


Kernicterus is a severe form of jaundice.  Most babies experience jaundice, which is actually a normal medical condition for a baby.  As you likely know, jaundice causes a baby’s skin and eye pigment to be briefly yellow.  This is because, after birth, the baby’s organs are staying to take over for the first time (like the liver and kidneys) which means they may be slower to work out bilirubin—the substance which causes the yellow appearance.  Once the organs kick in fully, that jaundice will disappear.


However, when that jaundice remains and the baby’s skin stays yellow and the eyes stay yellow for too long of a period, it could be a condition known as hyperbilirubinemia.  This is what kerniecterus is, a severe form of jaundice which will not go away.


Dangerous of Kernicterus and Why it Must be Immediately Treated


Due to the hyperbilirubinemia, there could be brain damage due to Oregon medical malpractice.  This is because this substance is toxic and even caustic to the body—which is why the kidneys and liver help filter it out.  This high concentration which causes kernicterus results in severe damage to the developing brain which can result in many different severe impairments, including cerebral palsy, voluntarily movement disorders, cognitive functioning disorders, and many other severe functioning deficits.  The substance literally causes brain tissue to shrivel, curl, or become lesioned.  This impairs functioning.


This is why it could be Oregon medical malpractice when a healthcare provider does not quickly diagnose and treat kernicterus.  The longer that kernicterus is allowed to be present, the longer that a baby’s vital structures are being exposed to a poison.  There is no real excuse why kernicterus is not immediately treated either, as the symptom is very obvious in the yellow nature of the baby’s skin and eyes which persists for several days.  Other symptoms include a lethargic baby, issues with feeding, unexplained crying, stiff muscles, issues with movement, and even seizures.  There is no excuse why this condition should ever be misdiagnosed, and healthcare providers who fail to do so are negligent and may be liable for Oregon medical malpractice.


Failing to Diagnose Kernicterus Could be Oregon Medical Malpractice: Call our Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyer


Kernicterus is a devastating condition for a baby to have and should be immediately treated to avoid life-long complications.  The signs are obvious, and the reasons for delaying to diagnose and treat kernicterus are nearly non-existent.  Call our Portland medical malpractice lawyer if you believe you may have a claim.  We accept cases throughout Oregon, including Central Oregon, Deschutes County, Salem, Portland, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our law office is located.  


Please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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