Hemolytic jaundice in newborns is formed when the baby’s blood does not match that of the mother, and is often accompanied by anemia.

When neonatal jaundice occurs, it is important to identify whether it is physiological or pathological jaundice. Once it is identified as neonatal hemolytic jaundice, it needs to be treated in a timely manner so as not to cause bad consequences.

What is Neonatal Hemolytic Jaundice?

Hemolytic jaundice in newborns is mainly due to the mother producing antibodies to the fetus’ blood, and during pregnancy these antibodies enter the fetus through the placenta, destroying the red blood cells in the fetus’ blood, causing the fetus anemic at birth. After birth, jaundice occurs because the amount of bilirubin in the body is too high.


The most common cause of neonatal hemolytic jaundice is ABO hemolysis.
In other words, when the mother is blood type O and the baby is either A or B, they need to pay special attention because the jaundice will be more serious. If the mother’s blood type is A and the baby’s blood type is B or AB; or if the mother’s blood type is B and the baby’s blood type is A or AB, jaundice will be slightly milder.

Of course, not all newborns with ABO blood type incompatibility will have hemolytic jaundice, so parents do not have to worry too much. Some newborn jaundice is caused by physiological reasons, parents need to pay attention to distinguish clearly.

The characteristic of neonatal hemolytic jaundice is that the baby will appear jaundice within 24 hours of birth, and it will gradually worsen. Exchange blood therapy can be performed in the early stage. If there is a mild symptom caused by ABO blood type, blue light therapy should be performed.

Symptoms of Neonatal Hemolytic Jaundice

Hemolytic Jaundice

Hemolytic jaundice is due to the lack of red blood cells itself, or has been damaged, resulting in a light lemon yellow on the surface of the skin, and a slight yellow in the eye and sclera.

In an acute situation, symptoms of fever will appear, and the skin and mucous membranes will appear pale. Jaundice happens quickly, occurs within 24 hours after birth, and gradually worsens, often with symptoms such as abdominal distension, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

The color of urine, tears, sweat, and feces will change while saliva generally does not change color. The examination result shows that babies may have hepatosplenomegaly, increasing serum total bilirubin and urine bilirubin, hemoglobinuria during an acute attack, and increasing hemosiderin in urine during chronic hemolysis.

How to Treat Neonatal Hemolytic Jaundice?

When the newborn has hemolytic jaundice, the following methods can be used for treatment.

  1. Blood transfusion. If the indirect bilirubin in the serum exceeds a certain value, then transfusion is needed. Blood donors need to undergo blood testing to avoid aggravating the condition after blood transfusion, and to avoid blood supply from relatives.
  2. Put the baby under light with a wavelength of 420nm~480nm to reduce the serum bilirubin and prevent the occurrence of kernicterus. If kernicterus occurs, this method can also make the baby recover faster. After this light is irradiated, bilirubin is photooxidized to become a colorless substance, which is excreted from urine and bile. This treatment is simple and easy to implement, and has a certain effect.

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