$7.75 Million Settlement for Failure to Properly Treat Infant for Elevated BilirubinNovember 2008
The $7.75 million settlement secured by Corboy & Demetrio for the family of a baby who was not properly treated for elevated bilirubin, was reported in the Chicago Lawyer.
The baby was born on July 15, 2000 at Elmhurst Hospital after a normal delivery. He was healthy and alert. Two days later, the nursery nurse noted that he was slightly jaundiced, which was confirmed by a bilimeter reading. Later that same day and just before the baby was discharged from the hospital, a doctor wrote in her notes that he had mild facial jaundice.
While at home, the baby was breast-feeding well until midnight on July 19. At that time, he took 2 ounces of formula and another 2 ounces at 4:00 a.m. At 9:00 a.m., he again took formula and “spit up.”
Our client, the mother of two other children, called Elmhurst Pediatrics Association in the morning and spoke to a nurse. Throughout the day, the baby was not nursing or sleeping well, seemed restless and was crying more. Again, at 5:00 p.m., The mother telephoned Elmhurst Pediatrics and spoke to a nurse, then two of the doctors, who told her to feed Luca with a syringe and they would see the baby in the morning.
Because the parents became increasingly concerned about their son’s condition, they brought him to the Elmhurst Hospital Emergency Room at 10:30 p.m. Upon examination, the baby was found to be jaundiced and lethargic and to have a total serum bilirubin of 38.2 mg/dL, a very high and dangerous level and well above acceptable values. He was placed on a biliblanket and at 1:00 a.m. Loyola Hospital was called so the baby could be transferred there for a double volume exchange blood transfusion, which took place several hours later.
As a result of the high level of serum bilirubin, the baby suffers from development delays, hearing loss, and spastic quadriplegia. He is not expected to develop head control or speech and communicates his needs by smiling, crying and via a single switch to operate a scanning system.