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How to treat severe jaundice in newborns?

Q: My two months old baby girl had late onset neonatal jaundice, the bilirubin level was 27 and was in a critical state and had to undergo an exchange transfusion. She had an MRI, which showed intensification in the right basal ganglia. She is treated by a neurologist with liofen 10 and nootropil for the stiffness in her legs. She is having her leg exercise also. Will she be cured completely? She is only two months. Is there any immediate treatment to prevent any complication that can affect our child?

A:I am sorry for the suffering that you all have gone through. Newborns with severe jaundice requiring exchange transfusion, are at risk for developing neurological sequelae known as kernicterus. The MRI changes do indicate that an insult to the brain has occurred. I would wait before using medicines like liofen and nootropil. I would suggest that you get the hearing of the child tested by a test known as BERA, which is a simple, painless and harmless test. You should consult a developmental paediatrician and start the appropriate exercises. Kindly do not massage the child. It is very premature to predict whether the child will have residual disability or not without evaluation. But you must remember that child’s brain has tremendous capacity to heal also. Hence periodic assessments will help in determining the child’s development.

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