CP Family Network Medical Director Giles Manley, M.D., encourages parents to trust their instincts and contact their doctor if something seems wrong with their unborn child or infant over the holidays. He described a recent case where delayed medical intervention resulted in cerebral palsy:
I settled a case recently where a pediatrician sent an infant with severe jaundice home on New Year’s Eve with instructions to the parents to “check back in 2-3 days.” The baby had elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood, which is a sign that the liver is not cleansing the blood like it should, and is a serious condition if not treated quickly. The delayed treatment resulted in brain damage to the child.
So I always remind expectant parents, stand up for your rights as a patient over the holidays. If you think there is an issue with your pregnancy or your newborn baby, don’t let health care providers put off tomorrow what should be addressed today. If your doctor will be out of town, make sure you have his cell phone number and the name and phone number of the doctor who will be filling in for him or her. Then, don’t hesitate to use it if anything seems unusual.
To see a list of symptoms that warrant contacting your doctor, read Don’t Hesitate to “Bother the Doctor” During Holidays.
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