It’s understandable for many within California and the rest of the industrialized world to not fully understand what kernicterus is. That is because cases of newborns being born with kernicterus are only 2.7 out of every 100,000 infants. However, globally that number is much higher. In fact, over 80% of infants born will experience jaundice, which is associated with the appearance of kernicterus. It should be noted that kernicterus, which causes harm to the nervous system, is usually caused by jaundice.
Symptoms of kernicterus
It is important to understand that kernicterus develops after doctors fail to treat jaundice in an infant. The first thing that most parents will see in an infant with kernicterus is their child’s face. The disease causes the infant’s face to turn a yellowish or orange tint. Another sign that a mother may quickly see is the lack of ability of the baby to breastfeed. Lastly is the color of the urine that the baby produces. It is common to see an infant’s urine a dark color with little being urine being produced at the same time.
Can it be diagnosed properly?
The answer is yes; the process includes a doctor or nurse conducting an exam on the infant for jaundice. The exam is conducted using a light meter, which is then pointed towards the infant’s forehead. If the reading is high, then a blood test will commence. This then allows the doctor to obtain an exam of the infant’s TcB levels. However, because most infants are born with some jaundice, it can lead doctors or nurses to simply ignore it. This type of medical malpractice may cause the child’s health to deteriorate rapidly.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is all too common. This is why parents should also consult with a legal representative about what steps should be taken after such an issue occurs to ensure appropriate compensation.