Information About the Role of Medications
At our Boston-based law firm, Todd & Weld LLP, our attorneys have developed a nationwide practice helping clients whose children have developed kernicterus as a result of medical negligence. This neurological condition occurs in infants with uncontrolled jaundice that is caused by the breakdown of excess red blood cells present in a baby's bloodstream at birth.
Because babies have more red blood cells than they need, and because their livers are often immature at birth, they frequently produce more bilirubin, the waste product that results from blood cell breakdown, than their systems can handle. The result is often jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin and eyes. More than 60 percent of newborns have some degree of jaundice, and there is never any reason it should develop into kernicterus.
Since the early 1990s, our lawyers have succeeded in obtaining results for clients nationwide whose children have experienced the consequences of kernicterus. Consequently, we have in-depth knowledge of the complex legal issues involved — knowledge that we have used to prevail on behalf of our clients.
Prescription Drugs and Kernicterus
The development of jaundice is usually a natural phenomenon and will clear up either by itself or with phototherapy. However, infant jaundice is occasionally the result of a drug interaction, usually because the mother takes particular medications during late-term pregnancy. Certain antibiotics, especially the sulfamethoxazole class of antibiotics, have been linked to the development of infant jaundice. These antibiotics can cause bilirubin displacement from the blood proteins into the bloodstream itself, resulting in jaundice and kernicterus (if the jaundice is not treated appropriately). A physician who prescribes this type of drug to a pregnant woman during the last weeks of pregnancy may be committing a medical error.
We invite you to learn more about this condition and how it develops. Visit our Resources page or follow the links below for additional information. We advocate for families nationwide whose infants suffered this condition because of medical errors at birth.
To learn how Todd & Weld LLP can advocate for you in a kernicterus case, contact our lead kernicterus practice area partner, attorney Jeffrey N. Catalano, at 617-391-0591.