Which physical findings suggest breast milk jaundice?

Updated: Dec 07, 2017
  • Author: Prashant G Deshpande, MD; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Answer

Clinical jaundice is usually first noticed in the sclera and the face. Then, it progresses caudally to reach the abdomen and extremities. Gentle pressure on the skin helps to reveal the extent of the jaundice, especially in darker-skinned babies; however, clinical observation is not an accurate measure of the severity of the hyperbilirubinemia.

A rough correlation is observed between blood levels and the extent of jaundice (face, approximately 5 mg/dL; mid abdomen, approximately 15 mg/dL; soles, 20 mg/dL). Therefore, clinical decisions should always be based on serum bilirubin levels. Skin should have normal perfusion and turgor and show no petechiae.


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