Jaundice in Infants

Jaundice in Infants

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jaundice There can be a lot of reasons. The most common cause of jaundice in newborns is olojik physiological jaundice ”. Plasma bilirubin levels are higher in all newborns than in adults, and 50% of newborns are clinically jaundiced during the first five days of life.

Bilirubin is around 4-5 mg in normal newborns. It may increase to 10 mg% at 48 hours but decreases to normal levels from 7-10 days. Free bilirubin levels may exceed 15% in 5% of newborns.
Serum albumin; It may bind increased bilirubin levels up to 20-25 mg. However, when this is exceeded, free bilirubin easily passes into the brain and settles in the basal ganglia causing kerni icterus.
Pathological jaundice occurs much less frequently. It can be due to various reasons.

  • Blood type mismatch-Rh mismatch
  • occlusive jaundice
  • Intrauterine or newborn infections (viral hepatitis etc.)
  • Inherited liver infections

Differences Between Physiological and Pathological Jaundice:

  • In physiological jaundice, yellowing begins on the second or third day of the baby's life. In premature infants, yellowing begins later (usually on the third or fourth day)
  • Pathological jaundice usually occurs in the first 24 hours or may begin much later.
  • Physiological jaundice is reduced when the baby is one week old or 10 days old. In premature infants, it is longer (lasts 15 days.)
  • Pathological jaundice lasts longer.
  • Bilirubin value is less than 12mg in physiological jaundice. Premature is less than 15mg.
  • Bilirubin levels were higher in pathological jaundice.


In the days following the birth, many babies will have a color from yellow to orange. This is a known and expected event. When the baby is born, it comes with red blood cells, which carry the oxygen in the blood to the lungs. When the child breathes and opens his lung, blood begins to circulate. In the meantime, some of the red blood cells disappear. The destroyed red blood cells are destroyed by the baby's liver and spleen. But some babies are so useless, they can't destroy the cell. This is due to incomplete formation of the liver. These residues accumulate in the blood and cause baby jaundice.

Light is of great importance for the healing of this disease in a short time. Therefore, babies with jaundice are placed under white or blue light.

Sometimes jaundice is caused by the child's liver. The liver functions, but the gall bladder can not reach the intestines from the liver. So the baby's poop is very colorless.

Mild physiological jaundice usually does not require treatment. In more severe cases, it can be effectively cured by phototherapy using ultraviolet light. During treatment, babies are naked and their eyes are closed to prevent damage from ultraviolet light.

In addition, since there is a large amount of water loss from the skin, the baby is given external fluid and its feeding is limited to the baby's room.


A baby's jaundice after the first week after birth can be caused by breastmilk (although this occurs in 1 out of 200 infants who are breastfed and born normally) or from blood and liver diseases.

Blood bilirubin levels are generally higher in breast-feeding infants than bottle-fed infants and may remain elevated for a long time (up to six weeks). This is thought to be exaggerated physiological jaundice and not medically important. Breastfeeding is recommended to continue. Breastfeeding and sugar water to give more than reducing bilirubin levels and milk production is adversely affected.

Real breast milk-induced jaundice should be considered when bilirubin levels increase rapidly at the end of the first week of life or when other causes of pathological jaundice are excluded.

Breast milk jaundice The reason is unknown. Since the responsible agent is thought to be a substance found in breast milk, this type of jaundice jaundice is called.

The diagnosis is made by a surprising decrease in bilirubin levels when breastfeeding is given for approximately 36 hours (during which time the breasts continue to collect and reserve milk at feeding times).

Bilirubin levels increase again when breastfeeding begins, but not until the previous level. In a few weeks, this will improve.
NOTE: High bilirubin levels are seen in the first 3 days of life in some infants with breast milk jaundice (early type)

Bilirubin levels gradually increased starting from day 4 and 10-15. 10-20 mg / dl on the days of reaching the type is called breast-milk jaundice.

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