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Newborn Jaundice

Overview

Newborn jaundice is a common condition observed in about 60% of the newborn infants. It is a condition that shows presence of high levels of bilirubin in the infants’ blood. Due to increased bilirubin, infants’ skin and the white part of the eyes, the sclera, looks yellow. Physiological jaundice is considered as the most common form of jaundice among the newborns.


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Causes

In the newborn, jaundice basically occurs due to the fact that their lives are not mature enough to remove yellow pigment, bilirubin, from the blood. Because of the fact, most of the newborn babies are affected by the condition. An undeniable fact is jaundice can also be caused due to a number of medical conditions. And, if the watchful attitude is adopted by parents and professionals, the condition can be treated successfully and it leaves no long term effect on the child lives.


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Signs & Symptoms


Yellow colour of the skin is considered as main symptom of the condition. Yellow color presents in the skin and eyes and can be visibly seen after pressing the skin with fingers. Primarily, yellow color is observed in the skin, but other body parts like chest, legs, belly area and soles of the feet also get affected by it. Symptoms like poor feeding and extreme tiredness in the newborn also signify presence of jaundice.

In order to detect the presence of jaundice in the newborn babies, skin or blood test is performed by the health professionals. Other tests, likely recommend by health professionals, include Coomb’s test, complete blood count, Reticulocyte count, etc. Fortunately, condition is easy to treat by taking certain precautions.

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Prevention

Normally, it is found that some degree of jaundice is present in newborn that is considered as normal as well as inevitable condition. However, newborn jaundice can be avoided by feeding babies frequently for first several days. Careful monitoring for the first few days of life further aids in preventing any sort of complications of jaundice. Careful monitoring can be taken by checking bilirubin level at regular intervals in the first few days, etc.


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Treatments
Phototherapy Modern Medicine

It is believed that any specific treatment is not required in order to treat the condition. Certain steps like keeping baby well-hydrated with breast-feeding, etc aid in curing the condition to a significant level. Moreover, frequent feedings are advised as frequent feeding encourages bowel movements at a fast pace, that eventually help in removing bilirubin through the stools.

If the level of bilirubin is very high, then treatment called phototherapy is performed by specialists. In this treatment, child is being placed under special kind of blue light. For curing mild newborn jaundice, child is being placed under well-lit window for a few minutes, say 10 minutes twice in a day. If the bilirubin level is very high in the body, then it is necessary to take treatment otherwise serious complications like deafness, cerebral palsy may arise.

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