Neonatal jaundice It is the yellowish discoloration of the skin and sclera(eyes) of the newborn marked by high levels of bilirubin in the blood. This may either be from a normal process (physiological) or an abnormal process (pathological).
The physiological jaundice generally lasts less than seven days.
Pathological jaundice may be due to abnormal process that either results in excessive breakdown of red cells.
Jaundice develops because of two factors—the breakdown of fetal hemoglobin(F) as it is replaced with adult hemoglobin(A).
Also immature metabolic pathways of the liver, which are unable to conjugate and so excrete bilirubin as quickly as an adult. This causes an accumulation of bilirubin in the blood.
The general signs and symptoms of neonatal jaundice;
Poor feeding in infants
Treatment includes more frequent breast feeding, phototherapy, exchange transfusions in severe cases. The baby can even develop Kernicterus (serious form of brain damage, caused by excessive bilirubin levels).
Always inspect the eyes and skin of your baby for yellowish discoloration. Immediately take your baby to the hospital when you notice the eyes and skin are yellow or see any of the signs above.
Please do not wait for it to become worse.
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