Bilirubin is a natural substance in the human body, but excess levels can be toxic, particularly in newborns. High bilirubin levels can lead to a condition called BIND, causing brain damage that ranges from minor to severe and, in some cases, can be fatal. Doctors have an obligation to provide newborns with proper care, which includes appropriately monitoring and treating their bilirubin, and if a doctor fails to do so, it can lead to BIND and be grounds for pursuing malpractice claims. If your child developed BIND shortly after birth, you have the right to pursue claims against the parties that failed to prevent their harm, and you should speak to an attorney. The dedicated Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group understand the lasting emotional and physical harm preventable medical injuries can cause, and if we represent you, we will fight to help you seek the outcome you deserve.Identifying and Treating BIND
BIND, an acronym for Bilirubin-Induced Neurologic Dysfunction, is a condition that predominantly affects infants. It arises from elevated levels of bilirubin, a byproduct of red blood cell breakdown, in the bloodstream. Excessive bilirubin can lead to neurologic damage; as such, BIND may result in persistent neurodevelopmental issues.
Doctors can detect and treat BIND by carefully monitoring bilirubin levels. BIND manifests in different forms: Acute Bilirubin Encephalopathy (ABE) involves severe hyperbilirubinemia symptoms such as decreased feeding, lethargy, and seizures and requires immediate reduction of bilirubin levels. Chronic Bilirubin Encephalopathy (CBE) results in lasting brain damage, potentially causing cerebral palsy. Subtle Bilirubin Encephalopathy (SBE) is a milder form that causes subtle developmental disabilities.
Outcomes for children with BIND vary, as they often demonstrate deficits in areas like communication, sensory processing, muscle tone, and cognitive function. The extent of the injury may only become apparent as the child shows developmental delays.Damages Recoverable Following a BIND Diagnosis
There are measures doctors can take to prevent, detect, and treat BIND in infants. When a doctor recklessly fails to do so, they may be liable for any harm that ensues. Typically, people who suffer losses due to a doctor’s incompetence will pursue negligence claims against the doctor in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In Maryland, demonstrating the negligence of a healthcare provider requires the plaintiff to establish four elements: a duty, a breach, damages, and causation. The duty is the obligation the defendant owes the plaintiff to offer treatment that comports with the applicable standard of care. The standard of care that applies is the care that a reasonable professional with similar training and experience would provide in the same situation. Any act of failure to act that demonstrates a departure from the standard of care constitutes a breach.
Damages refer to the harm the plaintiff suffered, while causation links said harm to the defendant’s behavior. While the defendant’s conduct does not have to be the sole reason the plaintiff suffered harm, it must be a substantial factor in bringing it about to establish causation. In the majority of medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff will need to retain a medical expert to explain certain things to the parties determining liability. Namely, they will offer opinions regarding what is required under the standard of care, the ways in which the defendant breached the standard, and how the breach ultimately caused the plaintiff’s losses.Confer With a Skilled Baltimore Attorney
When BIND is not diagnosed and treated in a prompt manner, it can cause significant and lasting harm, and doctors who neglect to protect their vulnerable patients from suffering the devastating impact of BIND should be held accountable. If you or your child developed BIND, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney about what claims you may be able to pursue. The skilled Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can evaluate your case and aid you in seeking the best legal outcome available. We regularly represent people harmed by medical negligence in medical malpractice lawsuits in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.