When people think of birth injuries, a lot of times Cerebral Palsy is what comes to mind, as it is one of the more talked about injures. However, there a variety of birth injuries that can occur if the doctor is not careful. One of those is Kernicterus and it is one of the more rare birth injuries that can take place. Here is what you need to know about Kernicterus
Kernicterus is a direct result of Jaundice that isn’t treated. Jaundice affects 60-80% of infants in the U.S and causes the skin and tissue to become a yellow color. The discoloration is a result of an excess build up of a chemical called bilirubin in their blood. This condition typically goes away on it’s own, but in the case that it doesn’t, if it isn’t treated, it can become Kernicterus, which causes brain damage.
Symptoms Of Jaundice
The change in skin tone typically develops in the face first and then can spread to the baby’s body. It can also show up in the whites of the baby’s eyes. Because of the yellow color the skin turns, it can be harder to spot Jaundice in babies with a darker skin tone. In addition to this, you want to look for any problems with feeding, sleeping troubles, excessive fussiness, and a lower number of wet diapers than normal.
Symptoms of Kernicterus
As mentioned before, Kernicterus is a result of untreated Jaundice and it has more serious symptoms. Some of the symptoms that occur in infants are:
- Uncontrollable crying
- Body stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Unusual eye movement
If you don’t catch these symptoms in babies, they could also develop worse symptoms as they get older. Symptoms to look for as they age include:
- Stained teeth
- Sensory issues
- Inability to look upward
- Unusual motor development
If Jaundice does not subside on its own, you want to treat it before it can turn into Kernicterus. Treatment can be as simple as ensuring that the baby is receiving enough milk. Babies can get rid of the yellow coloring through their urine, so they need to be ingesting enough fluids. Another treatment option is light therapy, which uses a special blue light to break down the bilirubin. If the child doesn’t respond to either of these treatments, a blood transfusion may be necessary. This is a last resort and is only done if the baby is showing signs of brain damage.
Has Your Child Suffered From A Birth Injury? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today
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