Newborn jaundice

Jaundice of the newborn; Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia; Bili lights - jaundice; Infant - yellow skin; Newborn - yellow skin

Newborn jaundice occurs when a baby has a high level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow substance that the body creates when it replaces old red blood cells. The liver helps break down the substance so it can be removed from the body in the stool.

A high level of bilirubin makes a baby's skin and whites of the eyes look yellow. This is called jaundice.

Erythroblastosis fetalis, photomicrograph

Antibodies from an Rh negative mother may enter the blood stream of her unborn Rh positive infant, damaging the red blood cells (RBCs). The infant responds by increasing RBC production and sending out immature RBCs that still have nuclei. This photograph shows normal RBCs, damaged RBCs, and immature RBCs that still contain nuclei.

Jaundice infant

Newborn jaundice (producing yellow skin) can have many causes, but the majority of these infants have a condition called physiological jaundice, a natural occurrence in the newborn due to the immature liver. This type of jaundice is short term, generally lasting only a few days. Jaundice should be evaluated by a physician until decreasing or normal levels of bilirubin are measured in the blood.

Bili lights

Using bili lights is a therapeutic procedure performed on newborn or premature infants to reduce elevated levels of bilirubin. If blood levels of bilirubin become too high, the bilirubin begins to dissolve in the body tissues, producing the characteristic yellow eyes and skin of jaundice. Bilirubin also has an affinity for brain tissue, where it can accumulate and cause permanent brain damage.

Infant jaundice

Jaundice is a yellow discoloring of the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes, caused by too much bilirubin (a breakdown product of hemoglobin made by the liver) in the blood. Jaundice is a condition produced when excess amounts of bilirubin circulating in the blood stream dissolve in the subcutaneous fat (the layer of fat just beneath the skin), causing a yellowish appearance of the skin and the whites of the eyes.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention