Medical Emergency

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Often the course of jaundice will be indolent and the emergency physician may only be involved in facilitating the initial investigations and management (with a decision as to whether the patient should be admitted or discharged).

However, it is important to remember that jaundice can reflect a medical emergency. Such cases include:

  • Ascending cholangitis
  • Fulminant hepatic failure
  • Massive haemolysis
  • Neonatal jaundice

In these situations, timely diagnosis, resuscitation and initiation of therapy are crucial.