Kernicterus can lead to cerebral palsy if it is untreated. A mother in New Zealand successfully sued her hospital for not treating kernicterus in her child. The Herald Live reported on the matter.
In 2010, a boy was diagnosed with fast breathing but was released to his mother soon after. Four days after birth, the hospital detected severe jaundice caused by incompatible blood types between the child and the mother.
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To clear out the incompatible blood, the child needed a blood transfusion as stated by witness testimony. However, he had a rare blood type, B+. The blood needed to be ordered from another location. Hospital records showed that the blood was ordered a day later than what the mother was told, allowing the disease to cause further damage to the child’s brain due to high bilirubin levels.
Due to the delay, the mother requested a transfer to another hospital where the transfusion was performed. By then it was too late and the child had permanent brain damage due to kernicterus, which is caused by untreated jaundice.
The court ruled in favor of the mother and ordered damages to be paid because the staff was negligent in ordering the blood. The amount owed to the family was not recorded in the article.