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Q. Is jaundice in a newborn dangerous? What has to be done?

Answered by
Dr. Amit Kumar Modi
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 22, 2018

Hello doctor,

My cousin gave birth to a baby boy yesterday at 38 weeks and baby is 2.8 kg in weight. Yesterday evening the doctor told us that the baby has jaundice at 3.3 and now it is 5.3 What should we do for this? Is it dangerous? Hospital people said yesterday it was mild and does not need treatment, still, it increased?

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#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Jaundice developing in a baby after 24 hours of life is physiological jaundice and does not require any treatment unless it crosses a limit assigned. Various factors are taken into account like:

  1. S bilirubin.
  2. Baby blood group.
  3. Mother's blood group.
  4. Gestational age of the baby.
  5. Day of life.
  6. Any other risk factor.

At present, I can assure you that no treatment is required. In your case treatment will generally be required once her bilirubin crosses 15.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Thank you doctor,

Baby and mother blood groups are same as both are B negative. Gestational age is 37 to 38 weeks. It is c-section delivery. The baby had jaundice at 1.9 in blood and 3.3 by machine on the first day of birth that is yesterday and today by machine it is increased to 5.3. Still, no treatment needed? Is it treatable?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

In your case physiological jaundice, with no blood group incompatibility. Term baby with no complication and adequate weight. Treatment will only be required when S-bilirubin crosses 17. No need to worry, this is normal physiology. Just keep a watch and be in regular follow up with your doctor.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Thank you doctor,

Today jaundice by machine test is 7. They are going do a blood test also. How can it be controlled as it is increasing?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Now, let me tell you the normal physiology. A baby when intrauterine (in mother's womb) has hemoglobin F. This has very less role after birth, so this is disintegrated and new hemoglobin regenerates in the body of the baby known as hemoglobin A, this is the adult hemoglobin which is present in our body. Now, the disintegrated hemoglobin F is digested by the liver and byproduct bilirubin is excreted out through stool and urine. As the liver of the baby is immature, some amount of bilirubin spreads back to the blood and body. This happens with almost all baby after birth.

Normally the S bilirubin may rise up to 11 to 12. Then decrease back to normal of below 2. This whole process may take 7 to 10 days. You should feed the child adequately so that he passes more urine and stool to excrete out the bilirubin.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician


Thank you doctor,

I just got blood report and I am attaching it. Direct bilirubin is 0, indirect is 7.8, total 7.8. This is 51 hours after birth.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The report is absolutely normal for age. No intervention required. Keep baby hydrated by feeding adequately.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Thank you doctor,

Today, that is 72 hours after birth, the level is 10. Again increased from 7.8 to 10.2. Is it still normal? When can we expect it to go down?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

S bilirubin may have rising trend for first 5 to 7 days. It will decrease thereafter. S bilirubin of 10 is not a problem at this age. As I have already told you. Continue to feed the baby adequately. No intervention is required right now.

For more information consult a paediatrician online,---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Thank you doctor,

We got the mother and baby home. They say 15 bilirubin is cut off for treatment. Now is it possible that tomorrow or day after tomorrow, jaundice can increase and when to seek treatment?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It is good that you are home now. Take care of the baby. Get a fresh S bilirubin done on the day after tomorrow. So that we have exact pattern of jaundice. Keep the baby hydrated, feed adequately.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Thank you doctor,

Tomorrow we will take the baby for jaundice test to hospital. Secondly, I just checked the baby temperature in the underarm and it is 98.7. Is it normal? Do we have to increase temperature to one degree more?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The temperature of the baby seems to be normal. The temperature of 98.3 to 99.7 *F is taken to be normal. Do let me know the test report.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician

Thank you doctor,

I mean temperature in the armpit or oral? His 98.7 temperature is in the armpit. Is armpit temperature one degree less than actual temperature? Does it have any relation with bilirubin?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

No, temperature as such does not have any relation to rising in S bilirubin level. For all standard medical purposes, the axillary temperature that is armpit temperature is taken as standard. I am emphasizing the same. No need to worry, the temperature of the baby is fine.

For more information consult a paediatrician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatrician


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