Newborn Jaundice (Neonatal Jaundice) (cont.)

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Cephalohematoma (a collection of blood under the scalp)

Sometimes during the birthing process, the newborn may sustain a bruise or injury to the head, resulting in a blood collection/blood clot under the scalp. As this blood is naturally broken down, sudden elevated levels of bilirubin may overwhelm the processing capability of the newborn's immature liver, resulting in jaundice.

Red blood cell enzyme defects

Inherited genetic enzyme disorders, such as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency) or pyruvate kinase deficiency, for example, can lead to increased hemolysis and subsequent elevation in bilirubin levels.

Red blood cell membrane defects

Abnormalities in the membrane and shape of red blood cells (for example, spherocytosis) can lead to increased hemolysis.

Other causes of neonatal jaundice include prematurity, maternal diabetes, polycythemia, infection/sepsis, hypothyroidism, biliary atresia, cystic fibrosis, Crigler-Najjar syndrome, Gilbert syndrome, hepatitis, thalassemia, and galactosemia.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2014

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