Neonatal Jaundice

Neonatal jaundice is common in preterm babies. Excess bilirubin is the main cause of jaundice. Bilirubin, which is responsible for the yellow color of jaundice, is a normal part of the pigment released from the breakdown of "used" red blood cells. The cause is often an immature liver. Infection, medications, or blood disorders may cause more serious cases. Symptoms include yellowing of skin and the eyes. In many cases this is a normal process and occurs in about 2/3 of all healthy newborns.

4 types of Jaundice in new borns:

  • Pathologic jaundice. Pathologic jaundice is the most serious type of jaundice.
  • Physiologic (neonatal) jaundice. 
  • Breast milk jaundice.
  • Suboptimal intake jaundice.

Phototherapy can help resolve moderate or severe cases. Sunlight has been shown to break down the bilirubin most effectively; in fact, one hour of sunlight equals 6 hours under the special bilirubin lights at the hospital.

Related Associations: American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology | Anna Freud Centre | Bangladesh Institute of Child and Mother Health | Bangladesh Institute of Child Health | Child Cancer Foundation | Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group 

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