Case Study: Dilraj Singh's Story, Kernicterus

JMW's clinical negligence team has successfully secured compensation for a young boy after consistent failure to properly treat his jaundice led to kernicterus.

As with other kernicterus children, three-year-old Dilraj Singh, of Stretford, Manchester, is profoundly affected. He cannot sit up unaided, is unable to speak and is blind. His mother Urrvashi Singh had to give up her job as a nursery nurse to be able to provide the round the clock care he needs.

Discharged despite jaundice

Dilraj was seen by midwives and a paediatrician on several occasions, both in hospital immediately after his birth, and when he had been discharged. Despite noticing his jaundice, the only action advised was for the family to put him in sunlight.

Rushed to hospital too late

After a few days, Dilraj became very unsettled and stopped feeding. Urrvashi and her husband became so worried about his condition that they rushed him to hospital. In the hours that followed, it became apparent how seriously ill Dilraj was. Doctors tried to treat his jaundice with phototherapy, but by this point it was too late - Dilraj was brain damaged.

“Having a child with special needs is hard; it can make or break you as a family,” says Urrvashi. “From my own experience of kernicterus, I feel that midwives really need to be more alert to the warning signs that a baby is in danger. For us, there were so many missed opportunities to help Dilraj. I didn’t realise that jaundice could be so dangerous, but if the midwives who visited him had made the connection with brain damage, his kernicterus could have been prevented.”

Press coverage

Dilraj's case has been covered in The Times. To read more about Dilraj and kernicterus, click here.

Have you or your family been affected by kernicterus?

If you or anyone you know has been affected by any of the topics discussed above and require advice and guidance on your particular situation, simply get in touch with our expert and friendly team.

Do so by calling us on 0800 054 6512 or by completing our online enquiry form, allowing us to get back to you.

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