JAUNDICE TEST (UJIAN JAUNDIS / KUNING BAYU)
Infant jaundice is yellow discoloration of a newborn baby's skin and eyes. Infant jaundice occurs because the baby's blood contains an excess of bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin), a yellow pigment of red blood cells.
Infant jaundice is a common condition, particularly in babies born before 38 weeks' gestation (preterm babies) and some breast-fed babies. Infant jaundice usually occurs because a baby's liver isn't mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream. In some babies, an underlying disease may cause infant jaundice.
The following signs or symptoms may indicate severe jaundice or complications from excess bilirubin.
Call your doctor if:
- Your baby's skin becomes more yellow
- The skin on your baby's the abdomen, arms or legs looks yellow
- The whites of your baby's eyes look yellow
- Your baby seems listless or sick or is difficult to awaken
- Your baby isn't gaining weight or is feeding poorlyYour baby makes high-pitched cries
- Your baby develops any other signs or symptoms that concern you
High levels of bilirubin that cause severe jaundice can result in serious complications if not treated.
a) Acute bilirubin encephalopathy
Bilirubin is toxic to cells of the brain. If a baby has severe jaundice, there's a risk of bilirubin passing into the brain, a condition called acute bilirubin encephalopathy. Prompt treatment may prevent significant lasting damage.
Signs of acute bilirubin encephalopathy in a baby with jaundice include:
- Difficulty waking
- High-pitched crying
- Poor sucking or feeding
- Backward arching of the neck and body
Kernicterus is the syndrome that occurs if acute bilirubin encephalopathy causes permanent damage to the brain. Kernicterus may result in:
- Involuntary and uncontrolled movements (athetoid cerebral palsy)
- Permanent upward gaze
- Hearing loss
- Improper development of tooth enamel
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