Many factors contribute to the formation of Hyperbilirubinemia in newborns. Among the contributing factors of Hyperbilirubinemia is a newborn’s limited ability to excrete bilirubin in the first few days following their birth. In utero, your placenta does this job. After his birth, your baby must learn to do it for himself which can take time.
Another factor that contributes to the formation of Hyperbilirubinemia is a substance in breast milk that increases the reabsorption of bilirubin through your baby’s intestinal tract. When your newborn does not receive an optimal intake of milk, it can lead to elevated bilirubin levels, which are also caused by the increased reabsorption of bilirubin in your baby’s intestines.
The failure to initiate breastfeeding can also be a contributing factor to the formation of Hyperbilirubinemia because it can lead to dehydration, decreased urine production, and an accumulation of bilirubin. Prematurity can also contribute to the formation of Hyperbilirubinemia. Late preterm infants are more prone to Hyperbilirubinemia due to a lack of coordination and strength needed to successfully breastfeed.
Rh incompatibility can contribute to jaundice from hemolysis. It can occur with the breakdown of red blood cells due to Rh disease or from having too many red blood cells that break down and release bilirubin. Finally, inadequate liver function caused by an infection is one of the factors that contribute to the formation of Hyperbilirubinemia.
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Overview of Hyperbilirubinemia
Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition where your newborn son or daughter has too much bilirubin in their blood. Normally, when red blood cells break down, they create a substance called bilirubin. Sometimes, babies are not easily able to rid their bodies of bilirubin because your placenta did this job for them up until they were born.
Your baby’s inability to remove bilirubin can lead to a dangerous buildup of bilirubin in their blood, fluids, and other bodily tissues. This condition is called Hyperbilirubinemia, and because bilirubin has a distinct color, it causes a yellowing of your baby’s skin and the whites of his eyes. This condition is called jaundice. Depending on what factors contribute to the formation of Hyperbilirubinemia in your newborn, jaundice can appear at birth or at any point in time after birth.
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Why Hyperbilirubinemia Is Dangerous for Your Newborn
Hyperbilirubinemia is dangerous because it causes an excessive buildup of bilirubin in your newborn. High levels of bilirubin can circulate to the tissues in your baby’s brain which can cause seizures and brain damage. This condition is called kernicterus.
Kernicterus is the result of severe jaundice which leads to a type of brain damage. Kernicterus can lead to athetoid cerebral palsy and hearing loss in your baby. It can also cause vision problems, dental problems, and intellectual disabilities. Early diagnosis and treatment of jaundice can easily prevent kernicterus.
Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a medical disorder that is caused by a birth injury and, in turn, causes its sufferers to experience an inability to control their muscles. In healthy children, their brain tells their body what to do and when. Depending on what part of the brain is affected in children with cerebral palsy, their brains may be unable to tell their bodies to walk, talk, eat, or play. Athetoid cerebral palsy will affect your child’s ability to control their muscles. That can mean their arms and legs may flutter uncontrollably or move suddenly.
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Bruising and the Increased Risk of Hyperbilirubinemia
Many birth injuries can cause bruising in newborns. When a birth injury leads to bruising, it can increase the likelihood of your son or daughter having jaundice. A bruise is caused on your baby when blood leaks out of his blood vessels. This leakage will cause your baby’s skin to look black and blue.
As large bruises on your baby start to heal, they can cause increased levels of bilirubin. This increase in bilirubin can then lead to jaundice in your newborn. If your son or daughter shows any signs of jaundice, it is very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group is on Your Side
Is your son or daughter undergoing health challenges because of a diagnosis of Hyperbilirubinemia? Were the factors that contribute to the formation of Hyperbilirubinemia overlooked in your newborn? If you can answer yes to either or both of these questions, you may have the basis of a birth injury lawsuit.
A birth injury lawsuit can help you receive a monetary award to cover your child’s medical expenses. Speak to an attorney who can help you understand the full scope of your legal rights. Your child deserves the best medical care and you deserve to provide it for them. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 today to schedule your free consultation.