Can I sue my doctor for an undiagnosed jaundice as a medical error for child birth?

Question: The doctor who delivered my infant daughter pronounced her healthy and sent us home. At her checkup several days later, the pediatrician diagnosed her with jaundice, which apparently can cause some serious problems including cerebral palsy if left untreated. Can I sue my doctor for a medical error, does this failure to diagnose count?

Response: Cerebral palsy is a common problem caused by medical errors at birth. Furthermore, jaundice is a relatively common condition at birth, so it is probably reasonable to assume that a doctor that delivers babies should be aware of the symptoms of jaundice. However, each situation is different and if your baby was not exhibiting the standard symptoms, it is possible that failing to diagnose the jaundice does not constitute a medical error. Doctors are not expected to know everything, but they are expected to behave with a reasonable standard of care, and to know things that most reasonable, normal doctors in a field would know. Depending on your particular case and the circumstances surrounding your doctors birth and illness, you may have a cause for negligence at birth based on the medical error of not diagnosing jaundice. You should speak with a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical error and/or negligence at birth to discuss your daughter’s symptoms and condition, as well as the result of the misdiagnosis. 

Answered by Christy Rakoczy

Additional Resource: Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

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