Newborn Jaundice (cont.)
Newborn Jaundice Symptoms
As a baby's bilirubin levels rise, jaundice moves from the head to involve the arms, trunk, and finally the legs. If the bilirubin levels are very high, a baby will appear jaundiced below the knees and over the palms of his or her hands. One easy way to check for jaundice is to press a finger against your baby's skin, temporarily pushing the blood out of it. Normal skin will turn white when you do this, but jaundiced skin will stay yellow.
Older children and adults will appear jaundiced when the amount of bilirubin in their blood is above 2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Newborn babies will begin to appear jaundiced when they have more than 5 mg/dL of bilirubin in their blood. It is important to recognize and treat neonatal jaundice because high levels of bilirubin can cause permanent damage to a baby's brain. This brain damage is called kernicterus. Today, because of increased awareness and effective treatment of neonatal jaundice, kernicterus is extremely rare.
Jaundice itself does not produce any clinical symptoms, but the underlying cause may produce the following symptoms:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/12/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Newborn Jaundice
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Poisoning
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning is caused primarily by damage to the liver. Symptoms of acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal ...learn more >>
Anatomy of the Digestive System
Digestion is the process in which food is broken into smaller pieces so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and provide energy. The digestive syste...learn more >>
Computerized tomography scans (CT scans) are an important diagnostic tool for a variety of medical conditions. The process uses X-rays and a computer to produce...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Newborn Jaundice: