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Newborn Jaundice (cont.)

Newborn Jaundice Diagnosis

Before a baby can be treated, the exact cause of an infant's jaundice must be determined. In some cases, a careful examination by a pediatrician is all that is needed. In other cases, blood tests may be required.

  • The serum bilirubin level may be checked. Based on this test, the doctor may request that more tests be ordered. Some health care practitioners use a device that measures transcutaneous bilirubin such as the BiliCheck, so there is no need to draw blood. This screening tool is now widely used in newborn nurseries and outpatient clinics, offices, and emergency departments to obtain a rapid and non-invasive estimate of the degree of hyperbilirubinemia.
    • A Coombs test checks for antibodies that destroy an infant's red blood cells.
    • A complete blood count may be ordered.
    • A reticulocyte count is performed to be sure your baby is making enough new red blood cells.
  • Certain red blood cell diseases are found in people of Mediterranean descent. In such cases, it may be necessary to check blood samples for a condition known as G6PD deficiency.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2016
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