Neonatal Jaundice on the Postnatal Ward
|Reviewed by Clinical Practice Committee|
|Significance of Jaundice||Indications for Paediatric Referral||Management|
See also Neonatal Jaundice, which contains graphs indicating treatment levels.
Jaundice is important because in itself it may cause kernicterus and because it may be a presenting sign of an apparently unrelated condition. For example, Chinese boys with jaundice may have G6PD deficiency.
- Clinically present before 24hrs of age.
- Whenever other symptoms and/or signs of illness are present. When SBR >200 μmol/L on the second day of life.
- When SBR >250 μmol/L
- When jaundice is of late onset (7-10 days or later) or is prolonged with SBR >200 μmol/L after 7-10 days of life.
- Maternal red cell antibody
Treatment may consist of both ensuring adequate hydration, and encouraging photo-degradation of unconjugated bilirubin in the skin by the provision of phototherapy. This may prevent serum bilirubin levels rising to levels where exchange transfusion would be necessary. Phototherapy is very effective at preventing the need for an exchange transfusion.
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