Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Yellow Kid

Hannah is suffering from jaundice.

This is a pretty common occurrence for newborns, especially for newborns that are born early. The liver is not yet fully filtering the bilirubin out of the blood, which causes the skin to take on a yellowish or orangish tinge.

Usually, the liver gets going and the newborn's digestive system gets up to speed and everything evens out. If these things don't start soon enough, the jaundiced child can be lethargic and in extreme cases (so I'm told) brain damage can occur.

While lethargy and brain damage are never things you want to hear or think about when you are dealing with a newborn, I am trying not to jump to the worst conclusions. We took Hannah to the hospital this morning to get her bilirubin levels checked in her blood. It is in the "concerning" stage, but she is going back to get her blood levels taken again tomorrow. If the bilirubin level has gone a few notches up, we might have to use a biliblanket, which is a phototherapy device that helps break down the bilirubin that is building up in the body's fatty tissue and blood stream.

Hopefully, if we have to go this route, she'll tolerate the "blanket" well. Right now, she doesn't like to be put down very much, so it might mean more crying.

(For more about the original Yellow Kid, see here.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

We'll be praying for Hannah that her condition will improve completely.

By the way, a belated congratulations to you and Linda and Fam.