May 2010

Jaundice in Newborns

Jaundice is a condition in newborns that is very common. We hear about it quite often and if you watch all the baby shows on television like I did when I was pregnant, you have seen what it looks like and a generalization of how it’s treated. Jaundice is caused when there is an excess amount of bilirubin in the newborn’s blood. Normally, the bilirubin passes through the liver and is excreted as bile in the intestine. When there is too much for the liver to handle, it results in the yellowing of the skin and eyes. While treatment can be painless and quick, if not taken care of or in serious cases, complications such as deafness, cerebral palsy and other forms of brain damage can occur.