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Neonatal Jaundice.


National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (UK).


Jaundice is one of the most common conditions requiring medical attention in newborn babies. Approximately 60% of term and 80% of preterm babies develop jaundice in the first week of life, and about 10% of breastfed babies are still jaundiced at 1 month of age. In most babies with jaundice thevre is no underlying disease, and this early jaundice (termed ‘physiological jaundice’) is generally harmless. However, there are pathological causes of jaundice in the newborn, which, although rare, need to be detected. Such pathological jaundice may co-exist with physiological jaundice. Neonatal jaundice refers to yellow colouration of the skin and the sclera (whites of the eyes) of newborn babies that results from accumulation of bilirubin in the skin and mucous membranes. This is associated with a raised level of bilirubin in the circulation, a condition known as hyperbilirubinaemia.

Copyright © 2010, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

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