When is jaundice a problem?

When your baby shows signs that there is a back log of bilirubin building up. The skin is very yellow as are the eyes, gums etc, the baby is very drowsy and reluctant to feed. A blood test will allow assessment of the bilirubin levels; if high the baby may need to go under phototherapy to help speed up the process of breakdown. Very rarely, an exchange blood trasfusion is required if the level is very high. Very high untreated bilirubin levels cause irreversible brain damage (kernicterus). This is a disaster, especially since it is usually avoidable.
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