Jaundice in newborns also known as Neonatal Jaundice is said to be one of the most common and usually harmless condition that happens to a newborn that causes yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
In 2016. B.O. Olusanya while doing research on neonatal jaundice in Nigeria said that Jaundice was ranked as a priority neonatal morbidity for global health intervention. One risk factor for jaundice is premature birth. According to Mayo Clinic, infant jaundice usually occurs because a baby's liver isn't mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream. In some cases, an underlying disease may cause jaundice.
Your baby should be examined for jaundice between the third and seventh day after birth, when bilirubin levels usually peak. If your baby is discharged earlier than 72 hours following birth, make a follow-up appointment to look for jaundice within two days of discharge.
Even though the symptoms of newborn jaundice usually develop two to three days after the birth and tend to get better without treatment by the time the baby is about two weeks old because 65% of childbirth in Nigeria are done in the hospital, some children are not usually diagnosed and monitored on time which is very dangerous.
For an American mum, Rochelle Purcell the late treatment of her son’s jaundice caused his hearing loss.
“It’s heartbreaking to think that the events of a single day would have such a devastating and lifelong impact on our little boy,” she said.
“At the time, as new parents, we didn’t know much about jaundice and its potential impacts on babies.
“We’d like to see much greater public awareness about jaundice, so that all parents can understand how dangerous it can be if it’s not properly treated.”
If jaundice goes undiagnosed or is unable to be treated, long-term consequences such as irritability, seizure, chronic fever, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, dysphagia, mental retardation and brain damage may develop.