Kernicterus Case Study: BJ's Story

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Kernicterus Case Study: BJ's Story

With JMW's help a young boy has been awarded compensation following wrong advice from medical professionals, resulting in Kernicterus.

BJ was just two days old when he became jaundiced. His mother mentioned it to the community midwife, but was reassured that it was normal for babies of Asian descent.

Negligent advice from a midwife

The midwife advised BJ's mother to put him in sunlight – action that would have no impact at all. When the midwife returned the following day BJ's jaundice was severe, and a blood test revealed his liver was not working properly. His family rushed him to hospital, but it was now too late to stop the jaundice from causing kernicterus brain damage.

Lifetime consequences

BJ is now permanently disabled. He struggles to communicate, relies on the use of a wheelchair, and has severe learning difficulties. He will never go on to achieve the normal things that other children take for granted.

BJ's father:

“What happened to our son has been extremely upsetting for the family, but we have pulled together, and tried to cope the best we can,” says BJ's father. "He needs constant care and sometimes it is a struggle to meet his needs, as well as those of the rest of family. Kernicterus is preventable – that’s the tragedy here. Parents need to be pushy when their child is jaundiced and ensure that it is taken as something potentially very serious. Likewise midwives should immediately link jaundice with the risk of brain damage, and take the necessary steps to ensure it is treated in time.”

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To speak to a member of the team at JMW, simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and allow us to contact you. We will discuss your situation with understanding and care, and help you get the outcome you deserve.

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