Author Topic: Jaundice in Newborns..  (Read 1408 times)


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Jaundice in Newborns..
« on: September 03, 2012, 05:35:01 AM »
Infant jaundice is a yellow discoloration in a newborn baby's skin and eyes. It is a common condition, particularly in preterm babies(born before 38 weeks gestation) and breast-fed babies.It usually occurs because a baby's liver isn't mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream.
High levels of bilirubin (above 25 mg) can cause deafness, cerebral palsy, or other forms of brain damage in some babies. In rare cases, jaundice
may indicate the presence of another condition, such as an infection or a thyroid problem.

The most common types of jaundice are:
Normal (Physiological) jaundice: This is mild jaundice, is due to the immaturity of the baby's(infants) liver.It generally appears at 2 to 4 days of age and disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age.

Jaundice of prematurity: It occurs in premature babies since their liver is not ready to excrete bilirubin effectively. Jaundice in premature babies needs to be treated at a lower bilirubin level than in full term babies in order to avoid complications.

Breastfeeding jaundice: It occurs when a baby is not getting enough breast milk.

Breast milk jaundice: In some cases it may be caused by substances produced in their mother's breast milk that can cause the bilirubin level to rise.In this case the doctor may ask mother to stop breastfeeding temporarily. Once the condition has cleared you can start breastfeeding.

Blood group incompatibility (Rh or ABO problems): if a baby has a different blood type than the mother, the mother might produce antibodies that destroy the infant's red blood cells. This creates a sudden buildup of bilirubin in the baby's blood. It can be prevented with an injection of Rh immune globulin to the mother within 72 hours after delivery.

Jaundice usually appears around the second or third day of life. It begins at the head and progresses downward.
- A jaundiced baby's skin will usually appear yellow first on the face, followed by the chest and stomach, and finally, the legs.
-It can also cause the whites of an infant's eyes to appear yellow.
It can be diagnosed by testing infants bilirubin level in the blood. Parents should also keep an eye on their infants to detect jaundice.

-Phototherapy treatment can be used for high levels of jaundice.
-More frequent feedings of breast milk or formula can help pass bilirubin through stool.
-In some cases, blood exchange may be required to remove the bilirubin.