Infantile Jaundice – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

 Infantile jaundice – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments  that many are unaware of. Also,  Infant Jaundice is a yellow discoloration on the skin and eyes of a newborn. Infantile jaundice  occurs because the baby ‘s blood contains an excess of bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin), a yellow pigment in red blood cells.

Infant jaundice is a common condition, particularly in babies born before 38 weeks of gestation (preterm babies) and some breastfed babies. Infantile jaundice usually occurs because the baby ‘s liver is not mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream. In some cases, an underlying disease can cause Infantile Jaundice .

Treatment of Infantile Jaundice is usually not necessary and most cases that need treatment respond well to non-invasive therapy. Although complications are rare, a high level of bilirubin associated with severe infantile jaundice or inadequately treated infantile jaundice  can cause brain damage.

Cause of Infantile Jaundice:  The typical yellowish color of Infantile Jaundice  is caused by the deposition of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the tissues and its identification has an important clinical significance as it reflects an abnormality in the production, metabolism or elimination of this pigment.

Bilirubin is mainly formed from the death of red blood cells present in the blood . This destruction process takes place in the cells of the spleen, liver and bone marrow. In usual conditions, practically all the bilirubin produced is taken to the liver by the blood stream and its elimination takes place to the intestine through the bile ducts, after its storage in the gallbladder. However, when an abnormality occurs at any stage of this process, this substance can accumulate in the body, causing Infantile Jaundice .

Many diseases can cause jaundice, such as:

To check for Infant Jaundice , gently press onto the baby’s forehead or nose. If the skin looks yellow where you pressed, your baby is likely to have mild Infantile Jaundice  . If your baby does not have Infantile Jaundice , the skin color should appear a little lighter than its normal color for a moment.

Examine your baby in good lighting conditions, preferably in natural light.

Other Causes: An underlying disorder can cause Infantile Jaundice . In such cases, Infantile Jaundice  usually appears much earlier or much later thanphysiological Infantile Jaundice  . Diseases or conditions that can cause Infantile Jaundice  include:

  • Internal bleeding (bleeding)
  • An infection in your baby’s blood (sepsis)
  • Other viral or bacterial infections
  • An incompatibility between the mother’s blood and the baby ‘s blood
  • A malfunction of the liver
  • an enzyme deficiency
  • An abnormality of your baby’s red blood cells that causes them to break

Risk Factors:  The main risk factors for Infantile Jaundice , especially severe Infantile Jaundice  that can cause complications, include:

Premature Birth: A baby born before 38 weeks may not be able to process bilirubin as quickly as full-term babies. In addition, he or she may feed less and have fewer bowel movements, resulting in less bilirubin being eliminated through the stool.

Significant bruising during birth: If the newborn has bruising at delivery, he or she may have a higher level of bilirubin from the breakdown of more red blood cells.

Blood Type: If the mother’s blood type is different from the baby’s baby, the baby may have received antibodies through the placenta which causes its blood cells to break down faster.

Breastfeeding: Breastfed babies, particularly those who have difficulty nursing or getting enough nutrition from breastfeeding, are at increased risk of Infantile Jaundice . Dehydration or low calorie intake can contribute to the onset of Infantile Jaundice . However, due to the benefits of breastfeeding, experts still recommend it. It’s important to make sure your baby has enough to eat and is properly hydrated.

Symptoms of Infant  Jaundice : The first sign of Infant Jaundice is a yellowing of a baby’s skin and eyes. Yellowing can start within two to four days after birth and can start on the face before spreading to the body. Bilirubin levels usually range between 3 to 7 days after birth.

If a finger pressed lightly into a baby’s skin causes the area of ​​skin to turn yellow, it is likely a sign of Infantile Jaundice .

When to See a Doctor
Most cases of Infantile Jaundice  are quite normal, but sometimes Infantile Jaundice can indicate an underlying medical condition. Severe  childhood jaundice also increases the risk of bilirubin entering the brain, which can cause permanent brain damage. See your doctor if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Infantile jaundice  spreads or becomes more intense
  • Your baby develops a fever above 100°F (38°C)
  • Your baby’s yellow coloration deepens
  • Your baby feeds poorly, appears listless or lethargic, and makes high-pitched cries

Treatment For Childhood  Jaundice : Treatment is not needed most of the time.

When treatment is needed will depend on:

The baby’s bilirubin level
Whether the baby was born early (babies born early are more likely to be treated with lower levels of bilirubin)
How old the baby is
A baby will need treatment if the bilirubin level is too high or is rising quickly.

A baby with Infantile Jaundice needs to drink lots of fluids with breast milk or formula:

Feed the baby frequently (up to 12 times a day) to encourage frequent bowel movements. These help remove bilirubin through the stool. Ask your provider before giving your extra newborn formula.

  • In rare cases, a baby may receive extra fluids by IV.
  • Some newborns need to be treated before leaving the hospital. Others may need to go back to the hospital when they are a few days old. Hospital treatment usually lasts 1 to 2 days.
  • Special blue lights are sometimes used on infants whose levels are very high. These lights work by helping to break down bilirubin in the skin. This is called phototherapy.
  • The child is placed under these lights in a warm, closed bed to maintain a constant temperature.
  • The baby will only wear a diaper and special eye shades to protect the eyes.
  • Breastfeeding should be continued during phototherapy if possible.
  • In rare cases, the baby may need an intravenous (IV) line to deliver fluids.
  • If your bilirubin level isn’t too high or isn’t rising quickly, you can do phototherapy at home with a fiber optic blanket, which has tiny glowing lights on it. You can also use a bed that shines on the mattress.
  • You should keep light therapy on your child’s skin and feed your child every 2 to 3 hours (10 to 12 times a day).
  • A nurse will come to your house to teach you how to use the blanket or bed, and check on your child.
  • The nurse will return daily to check your child’s weight, diet, skin, and bilirubin level.
  • You will be asked to count the number of wet and dirty diapers.

Useful links: 

In the most severe cases of Infantile Jaundice , an exchange transfusion is required. In this procedure, the baby’s blood is replaced with fresh blood . Administration of intravenous immunoglobulin to infants with severe Infantile Jaundice  may also be effective in reducing bilirubin levels.

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