Underlying Conditions That May Cause Jaundice in Newborns
jaundice in a newborn resolves on its own without any
problems. But sometimes high levels of
bilirubin in a newborn's blood are caused by an
underlying condition. In these babies, treatment for the underlying condition
is needed to resolve the jaundice.
Jaundice that appears less than 24 hours after birth needs to be
evaluated carefully for another possible cause, such as:1
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Blood type incompatibility or other blood problems. Differences in
blood type between a mother and her newborn, as well
as certain other conditions, can cause the newborn's red blood cells to be
destroyed. Bilirubin is released when red blood cells are destroyed.
Disorders of the digestive system. Any condition that
interferes with the digestive system's ability to process and eliminate
bilirubin may result in jaundice. Some of these conditions include disorders
that are present at birth, including problems with the liver and bile ducts and
blockage of the bowel.