Neonatal Jaundice in Child
Yellowish staining of the skin and whites of the new-born’s eyes (sclerae) by pigment of bile (bilirubin) is termed neonatal jaundice. In new-born babies a degree of jaundice is normal. It is due to the breakdown of red blood cells (which release bilirubin into the blood) and to the immaturity of the new-born’s liver (which cannot effectively metabolize the bilirubin and prepare it for excretion into the urine). Normal neonatal jaundice typically appears between the 2nd and 5th days of life and clears with time. Neonatal jaundice is also referred to as neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and physiologic jaundice of the new-born. It may last till 8 days in normal birth or around 14 days in premature births.