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Neonatal jaundice

Q: My child was born on July 2/2002. She weighs 3.8 Kgms. She is suffering from jaundice. The jaundice, as dignosed by the child specialist, is not acute but should disappear by now. She recommended some tests, results of which are listed below: TEST RESULT SUPPOSED__________________________________________________________ PERIPHERAL Smear (P B F) :G-6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase 4.0 U/gm Hb 4.60-13.5 Tech:Quantitative *[Border line Deficient] Comment:- Repeat G6PD when child attains 1 Yr Of age----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Packed Cells Volume 41.9 % 35.0-60.0----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BIOCHEMISTRY ON Dimension AR Total Bilirubin 13.67 mg % (0.20-1.00)Conjugated(Direct Bilirubin)0.25 (0.10-0.25)Unconjugated In Dir. Bilirubin 13.420 (0.100-0.750) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- T4 , TSH PROFILET 4- (Thyroxin ) Total 9.150 ug/ dl 1.500-12.000TSH Ultrasensitive Human3rd Gen 1.450 uIU / ml .490-4.670_________________________________________________________ We consulted the doctor with the reports and she said that G6PD reports were not satisfactory and there were certain medicines she would not be able to take life long as they would react with her blood (amongst them are medicines for malaria). We know literally nothing about jaundice except that it occurs in small babies. Is it contagious, how long will it take to cure, what are the above results showing?

A:Jaundice is very common in newborn babies and is even more common and severe in pre-term babies before 37 weeks gestation and in breast-fed babies. Some male babies have a haemolytic anaemia because of G6PD deficiency which is why they measured the G6PD in this case. It is worthwhile repeating the measurement of the G6PD at 6 months. Jaundice may affect the brain but only when the bilirubin is above 350 micromol/l. It is not contagious in the newborn.

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