What is Jaundice?
Jaundice is a common, temporary. and usually harmless condition in newborn infants. It affects both full-term and premature babies, usually appearing during the first week of the baby’s life.
Jaundice occurs when there is a build-up of a naturally occurring substance in the blood called bilirubin . Bilirubin is an orange/red pigment in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. It is normal for everyone to have low levels of bilirubin in their blood. As bilirubin begins to build up, it deposits on the fatty tissue under the skin causing the baby’s skin and whites of the baby’s eyes to appear yellow.
What are the Causes of Jaundice?
Jaundice can be caused by several different problems:
- Physiological jaundice: This is the most common cause of newborn jaundice and occurs in more than 50% of babies. Because the baby has an immature liver, bilirubin is processed slower. The jaundice first appears at 2 to 3 days of age. It usually disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age, and the levels of bilirubin are harmless.
- Breast-feeding jaundice: Breast-feeding jaundice may occur when your baby does not drink enough breast milk. It occurs in 5% to 10% of newborns. The jaundice symptoms are similar to those of physiological jaundice, just more pronounced. The jaundice indicates a need for help with breast-feeding.
- Breast-milk jaundice: Breast-milk jaundice occurs in 1% to 2% of breast-fed babies. It is caused by a special substance that some mothers produce in their milk. This substance causes your baby’s intestine to absorb more bilirubin back into his body than normal. This type of jaundice starts at 4 to 7 days of age. It may last 3 to 10 weeks. It is not harmful.
- Blood group incompatibility (Rh or ABO problems): If a baby and mother have different blood types, sometimes the mother produces antibodies that destroy the newborn’s red blood cells. This causes a sudden buildup of bilirubin in the baby’s blood. This serious type of jaundice usually begins during the first 24 hours of life. Rh problems formerly caused the most severe form of jaundice. However, they are now preventable if the mother is given an injection of RhoGAM within 72 hours after delivery. This prevents her from forming antibodies that might endanger other babies she has in the future
High levels of bilirubin can occur in the blood called hyperbilirubinemia. These high levels can be dangerous to a baby. It is important to obtain periodic blood samples to check the bilirubin levels and, if necessary, to treat jaundice to ensure the healthy development of your child. Feeding your baby every 2- 3 hours is recommended to reduce the jaundice levels. If you are breastfeeding, supplementation (ex. with formula via cup feeding, supplemental feeder, or bottle) may be recommended by your pediatrician if the bilirubin will not come down with frequent feedings. Phototherapy is the most common form of treatment for jaundice. This treatment is used for a few days until the liver is mature enough to handle the bilirubin on its own.
What is Phototherapy?
Some “normal” jaundice will disappear within a week or two without treatment. Other babies will require treatment because of the severity of the jaundice, the cause of the jaundice, or how old the baby is when jaundice appears.
Phototherapy (light treatment) is the process of using light to eliminate bilirubin in the blood. Your baby’s skin and blood absorb these light waves. These light waves are absorbed by your baby’s skin and blood and change bilirubin into products, which can pass through their system.
For over 30 years, phototherapy treatment in the hospital has been provided by a row of lights or a spotlight suspended at a distance form a baby. This would provide light shining directly on an undressed baby (with diaper on) whose eyes would need protection from the light with soft eye patches applied. Today, advancements in technology have led to a new phototherapy system which gives effective treatment without the inconveniences of conventional phototherapy treatment.
Are there Side Effects of Using Phototherapy?
Babies under any type of phototherapy treatment will have frequent and loose bowel movements that are sometimes greenish in color. This is normal since this is the way the body removes the bilirubin. This will be temporary and should stop when treatment is completed. Contact your doctor if it persists after treatment is completed.
Can my baby sleep during phototherapy treatment?
Yes. However, the phototherapy can be used 24 hours a day for as long as necessary.
How long will the phototherapy be used on my baby?
The length of time phototherapy treatment is needed varies from one baby to the next as each baby’s condition is different. Your health care provider will prescribe the amount of time your baby will be on the phototherapy each day.
Most babies have phototherapy treatment for several days. Your baby’s bilirubin level will be tested during treatment, usually by a small sample of blood taken from the baby’s heel. These tests will determine when normal levels of bilirubin are reached and phototherapy is no longer needed.
Rental Rates: RM 400.00 based on a three day two night period (3D2N)
* Total Cost may include Delivery , Setting Up and Collection in KL , Selangor and Negeri Sembilan area ,rental for three (3) days and consumables items (Eyes Patch).
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