Neonatal jaundice

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  1. What is neonatal jaundice
  2. serum bilrubin
  3. scientific study number one
  4. scientific study number two

What is neonatal jaundice?


It is a yellow skin discoloration of the skin and tissues of a newborn baby.

All newborn babies have neonatal jaundice to a certain extent. Jaundice occurs due to excess serum bilrubin in the blood stream.

serum bilrubin


When a baby is born, the baby uses their lungs to breathe.

Large amounts of red blood cells which are in attendance in big amounts in the circulation of the foetal circulation bring oxygen break down. This releases sub-products, namely serum bilrubin.

scientific study number one


scientists studied six hundred sixty six capillary blood samples that came from newborn infants with jaundice. The samples were then divided into three groups randomly into three groups.

One of the groups contained one hundred thirty three samples and received light therapy with blue light. The second group contained two hundred two samples received white light or room light. The third group contained two hundred and fifteen samples, and was put in a darkened room.

The bilirubin levels were then checked at zero, two, four, six, twenty four and forty eight hours. There was a considerable reduction in bilirubin in one of the groups exposed to light therapy after two hours. There was no occurrence of change in the dark room and white light group.

After six hours, there was no considerable change in bilirubin level in the dark room group but in the white light group there was considerable change.

It took forty eight hours to record any change in the bilirubin level of the dark room group. Light therapy is the most successful method of changing a neonate's bilirubin.

Blue light is usually employed in light therapy since it is more successful at breaking down the bilirubin.

scientific study number two


In another study two equal groups of newborn infants who had jaundice were then exposed to rigorous blue light or green light therapy.

The effectiveness of the treatment was then measured by the pace of decline of the serum bilirubin. The quicker response was gained when the blue lamps were used than the green lamps.

A quicker response was obtained using the blue lamps than the green lamps. Green light is usually not used because the exposure time has to be lengthier to see impressive results.

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