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How is hyperbilirubinemia diagnosed?
The timing of the appearance of jaundice helps with the diagnosis. Jaundice appearing in the first 24 hours is quite serious and usually requires immediate treatment. When jaundice appears on the second or third day, it is usually “physiologic.” However, it can be a more serious type of jaundice.
When jaundice appears on the third day to the first week, it may be due to an infection. Later appearance of jaundice, in the second week, is often related to issues with breast milk feedings, but may have other causes.
Diagnostic procedures for hyperbilirubinemia may include:
direct and indirect bilirubin levels – these reflect whether the bilirubin is bound with other substances by the liver so that it can be excreted (direct), or is circulating in the blood circulation (indirect)
red blood cell counts
blood type and testing for Rh incompatibility (Coomb’s test)
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”