Hyperbilirubinemia is a buildup of bilirubin in your baby’s blood. It can have a number of adverse effects on your newborn. Chief among these effects is a yellowish tinge to your baby’s skin and the whites of their eyes. This condition is called jaundice.
Additional ways hyperbilirubinemia affects a newborn can include poor feeding habits and a noticeable lack of energy.
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What You Need to Know About Jaundice
Jaundice is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in your child’s blood. Jaundice left untreated or undiagnosed can cause kernicterus.
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Kernicterus in Your Newborn Can Cause Cerebral Palsy and Seizures
Kernicterus is the result of these excessively high levels of bilirubin in your baby’s blood. Kernicterus is extremely serious and can cause athetoid cerebral palsy, seizures, hearing loss, vision and dental problems, and intellectual disabilities in your son or daughter.
Cerebral palsy is a medical disorder that can result from a birth injury. Children with athetoid cerebral palsy will experience difficulty controlling their muscles and movements. This happens because your child’s brain is unable to clearly instruct their body. Their long-term prognosis will depend on which part of your baby’s brain is affected by the disorder.
Children with athetoid cerebral palsy may have arms and legs that flutter or move suddenly. Athetoid cerebral palsy is a lifelong affliction that will not worsen over time but that cannot be cured. Your child might be unable to move or efficiently control their ability to walk, talk, eat, and play.
Seizures are an irregular disturbance of the electrical activity in your baby’s brain. Seizures can alter your newborn’s awareness and cause abnormal sensations, involuntary movements, and convulsions. Infant seizures can be caused by low blood sugar levels, inherited disorders, and other serious disorders like brain malformations, serious infections, birth injuries incurred during pregnancy, and lack of oxygen during birth.
Understanding Bilirubin’s Effect on Your Newborn
Bilirubin is the result of your baby’s body breaking down its red blood cells. In the first days of life, it can be very difficult for your new baby to get rid of bilirubin which can build up in their blood, tissues, and bodily fluids.
Bilirubin has a distinct color—it is a yellowish substance found in bile, a fluid in your baby’s liver that assists in the digestion of food. When your child has a healthy liver, it removes most of the bilirubin from their body. If your child’s liver is damaged in any way, it can cause a dangerous condition where bilirubin leaks out into your baby’s blood.
How Birth Injuries and Bruises Cause Hyperbilirubinemia in Your Newborn
Hyperbilirubinemia affects a newborn in a seemingly endless number of ways. It is natural to wonder how your newborn will be affected and how they might have been bruised during the process of being born. Many birth injuries contribute to bruising on your baby as a result of the physical pressure exerted on your infant during labor and delivery.
Most birth injuries occur as your baby makes his way through your birth canal. This arduous journey along with the use of assistive birth devices like forceps and vacuum extractors can create undue pressure on your baby’s body that can lead to significant bruising. When these bruises start to heal, they might cause increased bilirubin due to the breakdown of excess red blood cells.
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Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer Near You Today
Was the delivery of your son or daughter marred by the sight of bruises or by the news that your baby has hyperbilirubinemia? If your child is suffering from the effects of hyperbilirubinemia, there may be legal and financial help available for you.
Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a birth injury attorney near you. Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation today.