Kernicterus ~ Pinoy Reviews

Bringing Filipinos news, reviews, and resources about the rest of the world.

Friday, March 28, 2008


One of my friends working as a nurse mentioned something about how one of the babies born in the hospital she was working developed a disease called Kernicterus. The parents of the baby was going to sue the doctor of medical malpractice.

Based on my research, Kernicterus is a disease caused by too much bilirubin in the blood. Kernicterus causes brain damage and could result in your child's death. If the child survives, they could develop cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or vision and hearing problems. Symptoms that a child has a risk of developing Kernicterus includes yellowing of the skin during the first 24 hours after birth. The yellowing of the skin (jaundice) is caused by too much bilirubin. Bilirubin is naturally present in the body and is produced from the normal breakdown of red blood cells, however, when the liver cannot remove enough bilirubin in the blood, the extra bilirubin causes the skin to turn yellow.

Jaundice can sometimes go away without treatment but when it does require treatment, it is usually a simple one. This is why it's important to have your baby in a hospital so doctors can treat your baby once they have been diagnosed with jaundice.

The parents of the child was suing the doctor for medical malpractice since the doctor could have easily treated their baby for jaundice. During my research, I've come across (see above link) wherein the attorney was able to win a 5 million dollar settlement in behalf of a family whose baby was not diagnosed properly and thus developed Kernicterus.

Though medical malpractice cases are rare in the Philippines and most of the times the doctor walks away unscathed, you should consult a good lawyer if you think your child suffered from Kernicterus. Though it might be too late to reverse the disease's effect on your child, the damages you could win could help you in getting your child the proper medical care for his condition.