Topics: Bilirubin, Liver, Hepatitis Pages: 5 (1622 words) Published: April 27, 2011
Jaundice is defined as the yellow staining of the skin and sclerae that is caused by high levels in blood of the chemical bilirubin. The color of the skin and sclerae varies depending on how high or low the blood of the chemical bilirubin is. When the level is highly elevated, the skin or sclerae is yellowish; when the level is high the skin or sclerae is brown. Jaundice occurs when there is too much bilirubin being produced for the liver to remove from the blood. Jaundice also occurs when there is a defect in the liver that prevents bilirubin from being removed from the blood, converted to a conjugated acid or secreted in bile, or blockage of the bile ducts that decreases the flow of bile and bilirubin from the liver into the intestines. Jaundice in babies usually occurs because their immature livers are not efficient at removing bilirubin from the bloodstream. Jaundice can turn the skin and sclerae yellow. Stool also can become light in color, even clay-colored because of the absence of bilirubin that normally gives stool its brown color. With jaundice, urine may turn dark or brownish in color. Jaundice in newborns most commonly happens because their livers are not mature enough to remove bilirubin from the blood. A mother who has diabetes may cause a baby to develop neonatal jaundice. There are many signs and symptoms associated with Jaundice. The signs and symptoms that adults have when they have jaundice are yellow skin, yellow eyes, dark or reddish urine, bronze skin , loss of appetite , bitter taste in mouth , furry tongue, pale feces, foul-smelling feces, nausea, itching skin , lethargy, slow pulse, and confusion. The signs and symptoms that newborns have are ill appearance, fever, and poor feeding. Newborn babies will begin to appear jaundiced when they have more than 5 mg/dL of bilirubin in their blood.

There are several diagnostic tests to determine the diagnosis of Jaundice. These tests include blood tests , complete blood count , liver function blood test, abdominal x-rays and, abdominal ultrasound. In newborns, there are also tests to determine the diagnosis of Jaundice. These tests include a Coombs test, a complete blood count, and a reticulocyte count test. A Coombs test checks for antibodies that destroy red blood cells in an infant. A reticulocyte test checks to make sure that the baby or infant is producing sufficient new blood cells. There are various ways to treat Jaundice and some of the treatments are very simple. They include adequate bed rest , adequate fluid intake to avoid dehydration , anti-inflammatory medications , acetaminophen , Tylenol, tempra ,feverall ,Reglan ,prednisone , deltasone , azathioprine , Imuran , azasan , anti-emetics, metoclopramide, interferon alpha-2b, amantadine , symmetrel ,and liver transplantation in severe cases. Jaundice is a sign indicating increased production of bilirubin, or decreased ability of the liver to process it, usually related to liver disease. Treatment is dependent upon the original disease process. These treatments include phototherapy, supportive therapy, abstinence from alcohol and cessation of medications contributing to liver dysfunction, steroids, and the use of immunosuppressant. Treatment of Jaundice in newborn includes placing a child in a well-lit window for 10 minutes twice a day to help cure mild jaundice. Jaundice is most often treated with phototherapy. This involves placing the baby on a warmer beneath special lights. These lights are able to penetrate a baby's skin and affect the bilirubin within the child. The light changes bilirubin into lumirubin, which is easily handled by the baby's body. Two factors help decide whether or not to start phototherapy: the age of the child and the level of bilirubin. The two factors are younger children with higher bilirubin levels will more often require treatment. They are the decision to begin phototherapy depends on the opinion of your pediatrician and on your comfort level, and younger...
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