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Infant Jaundice

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  • Infant jaundice

    Definition: Infant jaundice, also known as physiological jaundice, is a condition in which the skin, and sometimes the sclerae (the white part of the eye), of the baby appear yellow. The color of the skin and sclerae varies depending on levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin) is the substance that causes yellowing of the skin and sclerae. When the liver is not completely developed it does not function properly, which results in bilirubinhyperbilirubinemia (excess of bilirubin). Symptoms: The most pervasive sign of infant jaundice is yellow skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes). This typically starts at the head, and spreads to the chest, stomach, arms and legs. Symptoms of infant jaundice include: Yellow skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes), Drowsiness, Itchy skin, Pale stools - breastfed babies should have greenish-yellow stools, while those of bottle fed babies should be a greenish-mustard color, Poor sucking/feeding, Dark urine - a newborn's urine should be colorless. Symptoms of severe infant jaundice include: Yellow abdomen or limbs, Drowsiness, Yellow sclerae (whites of the eyes), Inability to gain weight, Poor feeding, Jaundice that lasts over three weeks. Treatment: Typically, treatment for mild jaundice in infants is unnecessary, as it tends to disappear on its own within two weeks. If the infant has severe jaundice they may need to be readmitted to the hospital for treatment to lower levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Some treatment options for severe jaundice include:Phototherapy (light therapy),Exchange blood transfusion,Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg).Surgery or drug treatment may be required in some cases.

  • Infant jaundice

    Definition:
    Infant jaundice, also known as physiological jaundice, is a condition in which the skin, and sometimes the sclerae (the white part of the eye), of the baby appear yellow. The color of the skin and sclerae varies depending on levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin) is the substance that causes yellowing of the skin and sclerae. When the liver is not completely developed it does not function properly, which results in bilirubinhyperbilirubinemia (excess of bilirubin).
     

  • Infant jaundice

    Symptoms:
    The most pervasive sign of infant jaundice is yellow skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes). This typically starts at the head, and spreads to the chest, stomach, arms and legs. Symptoms of infant jaundice include: Yellow skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes), Drowsiness, Itchy skin, Pale stools - breastfed babies should have greenish-yellow stools, while those of bottle fed babies should be a greenish-mustard color, Poor sucking/feeding, Dark urine - a newborn's urine should be colorless. Symptoms of severe infant jaundice include: Yellow abdomen or limbs, Drowsiness, Yellow sclerae (whites of the eyes), Inability to gain weight, Poor feeding, Jaundice that lasts over three weeks.

    Treatment:
    Typically, treatment for mild jaundice in infants is unnecessary, as it tends to disappear on its own within two weeks. If the infant has severe jaundice they may need to be readmitted to the hospital for treatment to lower levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream. Some treatment options for severe jaundice include:Phototherapy (light therapy),Exchange blood transfusion,Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg).Surgery or drug treatment may be required in some cases.
     

  • Infant jaundice

    Statistics
    Approximately 60% of term and 80% of preterm babies develop jaundice in the first week of life, and about 10% of breast-fed babies are still jaundiced at 1 month of age.
     

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