When not treated quickly, kernicterus can cause long-term effects, some of which can mean a child requires lifelong care. For this reason, it’s vital that the signs of jaundice are noted and the steps to assess whether treatment is necessary are taken.
Kernicterus can cause significant brain damage, leading to permanent problems such as:
Cerebral palsy is a name for a group of conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. It’s can be caused by kernicterus causing damage to the brain but there are also other ways that cerebral palsy can develop. The condition affects each person differently and it can be hard for medical professionals to predict your child’s prognosis. However, it can affect their independence and present challenges with daily routines.
Known as auditory neuropathy, kernicterus can cause hearing difficulties. This complication can range from a baby having a difficulty processing sounds to becoming completely deaf.
Some learning difficulties have also been associated with kernicterus. In most cases, these learning difficulties are mild but they can have a significant impact on your child’s life.
Some children that have been affected by kernicterus, may experience involuntary twitching of different parts of their body. The severity of this can vary and, in some cases, it can affect a person’s ability to conduct daily tasks without assistance or specialist equipment.
Usual movement of the eyes can be affected by kernicterus. Those that have been affected tend to gaze upwards or look from side to side, rather than looking straight ahead.
Poor teeth development
Kernicterus can also affect the development of teeth, causing stains on the enamel of the primary teeth.
The permanent effects of kernicterus highlight just how important the detection and monitoring of jaundice is. Where those responsible for the care of your child have failed to take the necessary steps to limit long-term complications, you may be able to make a compensation claim against those responsible.