Mellow Yellow: Neonatal Jaundice

Author: Fiona Mendes / Editor: Yasmin Sultan / Reviewer: Fiona Mendes / Codes: / Published: 11/06/2022

During a weekend shift in the Paediatric Emergency Department (PED), you are asked to assess a 4-day-old infant male triaged as neonatal jaundice.

The infant was referred by their midwife after a routine home visit and have been directed to your PED as jaundice clinic is closed. The parents were told that the transcutaneous measurement of the degree of jaundice was reported as high. Parents report that their baby has been intermittently breast feeding on demand, almost every three hours but has been very sleepy. Their baby is passing urine and opened his bowels earlier today.

The infant was born at 34 weeks gestation, by spontaneous vaginal delivery. There were no complications at birth. Birth weight 2250 grams. He is being exclusively breast fed milk

Observations: Oxygen saturations 98% in room air, respiratory rate 58 breaths per minute, heart rate 162 beats per minute, capillary refill 2 seconds, glucose level 5.2.

You notice this infants pronounced yellow skin discolouration and yellow sclera during your assessment.

Figure 1. Infant with jaundice yellow skin discolouration and yellow sclera.

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