Treatment of Neonatal Jaundice
Most cases do not require medical treatment. In severe cases of Hyperbilirubinemia, phototherapy is a good option.
In the majority of cases, Neonatal Jaundice does not require medical treatment. However, if the level of serum bilirubin is very high, it needs to be controlled.
- Phototherapy is an excellent way of treating Hyperbilirubinemia. The bilirubin deposited under the surface of the skin absorbs fluorescent light and is converted into a substance that can be easily excreted through urine. The infant's eyes need to be shielded to prevent excessive exposure to light. This treatment can be done in a hospital or can be carried out at home and should be continued for a few days in order to be adequately effective.
- Phototherapy using fibre-optic blankets has made the treatment more practical. In this method the specially manufactured blankets are wrapped around the infant. The baby's eyes do not need to be shielded.
- In extreme cases of Hyperbilirubinemia, a transfusion might become inevitable.
If left untreated, Hyperbilirubinemia due to Neonatal Jaundice can result in mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, behavioral problems, hearing loss or even loss of life.
- Mather, Cotton. The Angel of Bethesda. 1724 [Reprinted in Jones GW (ed). Barre, MA: American Antiquarian Society and Barre Publishers; 1972, p. 191.