Jaundice in newborns is not unheard of. Like many other afflictions that might affect a just-born baby, jaundice can usually be easily treated with no ill effects for the child in the long term. However, if left untreated, jaundice can cause serious problems for newborns.
A particularly serious case led to permanent brain injuries for one boy, who is now 6 years old but cannot talk or move his arms or legs. The boy’s family recently won a $26 million judgment from a jury as a result of his condition.
The boy’s parents say that even though the newborn’s eyes appeared to be getting yellow, the hospital and the boy’s doctor released him without treatment. After leaving the hospital, the boy continued to get worse and began to vomit. At that point the parents took him to a different hospital.
There, doctors diagnosed him with a severe form of jaundice that can lead to brain damage. The youngster received two blood transfusions, but it was not enough to prevent him from becoming permanently disabled. The boy now needs around-the clock care, so the judgment — which was expected to be appealed by the hospital — would go a long way toward the care that he will need for the remainder of his life.
This case shows just how bad things can get when parents’ expectations of postnatal care aren’t met. Parents of kids who suffer injuries or illnesses at birth as a result of medical malpractice often consult with attorneys to try to receive compensation for the malpractice.
Source: New York Daily News, “Disabled Brooklyn boy awarded $25 million in untreated jaundice case against New York Methodist Hospital,” Doyle Murphy, Nov. 19, 2013