Jaundice in Newborns
Jaundice is a common health issue in newborn infants. Around 60 percent of newborns experience jaundice, and this increases to 80 percent of premature infants born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
They will normally show signs within 72 hours of birth.
Red blood cells in the body of an infant are frequently broken down and replaced. This causes the production of more bilirubin. Also, the livers of infants are less developed and, therefore, less effective at filtering bilirubin from the body.
Symptoms will usually resolve without treatment within 2 weeks. However, infants with extremely high bilirubin levels will require treatment with either a blood transfusion or phototherapy.
In these cases, treatment is vital as jaundice in newborns can lead to kernicterus, a very rare type of permanent brain damage.