BIND (Bilirubin-Induced Neurologic Dysfunction)

What is Bilirubin-Induced Neurologic Dysfunction (BIND)?

Bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction (BIND) refers to neurological problems, including brain damage, that occur when an infant has excessive levels of bilirubin in his or her system. Bilirubin is the byproduct of red blood cells that burst or break down naturally over time. Because infants have developing livers, which filter out bilirubin, some newborns’ bodies may have difficulty getting rid of the substance. In other cases, bilirubin build-up may be the result of an underlying medical condition. Whatever the cause, excessive bilirubin can lead to life-long neurological injuries if left untreated.

How is BIND Related to Jaundice?

Bilirubin contains a yellow pigment. As a result, when bilirubin builds up in an infant’s systems, his or her skin becomes yellow, a medical condition known as jaundice. Many infants have mild to moderate jaundice which usually appears between four to seven days after birth. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors check for jaundice every eight to twelve hours during an infant’s hospital stay. Infants should also be checked for jaundice before they are discharged.

What Causes Bilirubin to Build up in an Infant’s System?

In some cases, an infant’s liver may not be developed fully in order to filter out excess bilirubin in the blood. In other cases, when a mother’s blood type doesn’t match the baby’s blood type, the baby’s body produces antibodies that break down red blood cells, resulting in a build-up of bilirubin. Such a build-up may also be the result of an underlying medical condition such as internal bleeding, sepsis, infections and serious liver problems.

Are Certain Infants at Risk of BIND?

Yes. Premature babies born before 38 weeks have a greater chance of developing BIND because their livers are likely to be underdeveloped. In addition, infants that experienced bruising during the labor process are also at risk. Finally, infants who have a blood type different that their mother’s blood type are also at risk of BIND.

What Complications can Result From Excess Bilirubin in an Infant’s System?

Left untreated, bilirubin build-up can lead to acute bilirubin encephalophy, a condition in which bilirubin affects the brain. If the brain damage is permanent, the condition is diagnosed as kernicterus, which causes involuntary and uncontrolled movements, hearing loss and improper development of tooth enamel. Excess bilirubin can also result in vision loss as well as problems with speech, cognition and language.

How are Infants With Excess Bilirubin Treated?

In many cases, infants are treated by phototherapy, a type of treatment in which they are exposed to a special light that breaks down bilirubin. In cases in which bilirubin build-up is caused by the infant having a different blood type than his or her mother, the baby is given a treatment to break down antibodies that rupture red blood cells.

How Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC can Help

If your child suffers from BIND, Gallivan & Gallivan may be able to help. In some cases, doctors may fail to diagnose bilirubin build-up or fail to treat it in an appropriate and timely manner. We will thoroughly investigate your claim and recover compensation from those responsible for your child’s injuries.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Last year I was injured in an accident, and for the first time, needed the advice of an attorney regarding how to proceed. I was referred to Thomas Gallivan through a family member who is a lawyer in Massachusetts. I am beyond pleased with how Thomas handled my case. He was knowledgeable, professional, and although the case was not as straightforward as some, he used every resource to ensure a positive outcome. Thomas communicated with me regularly and I felt completely informed and confident in his ability. He expertly negotiated a fair settlement that I was very happy with. The entire experience was extremely positive, during a stressful time for me. Thank you Thomas. Melanie
★★★★★
My mom was the victim of nursing home neglect/abuse. I retained Tom and he provided great representation in a professional, courteous fashion. He made a very uncomfortable ordeal bearable. I would highly recommend his services to anyone in need of sound guidance and professional representation. Paul D.
★★★★★
Tom Gallivan fought for - and won - a settlement on behalf of my mother, who suffered terrible pressure sores due to nursing home neglect. I will always be grateful for his diligence and hard work, and for keeping me informed during the entire process. He will fight for you every step of the way. Trudy
★★★★★
Mr. Gallivan did an exceptional job representing our family during a nursing home law suit. He took care of every detail and put us at ease during a very emotional trial. I would very highly recommend him and his firm of outstanding professionals. Jane
★★★★★
Mr. Gallivan was the best choice I could have possibly made to represent me in mom's nursing home neglect case. He kept me informed & updated every step of the way & not only listened but acted on all my concerns. I would highly recommend him as a very professional, diligent, & knowledgeable attorney. Steve
★★★★★
Tom Gallivan represented me for a car accident I was involved in. He not only returned calls and emails promptly, his expertise helped me obtain a nice settlement. His compassion for me was heart-warming and much appreciated. Thank you kindly , Mr. Gallivan. Joanne