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Newborn and Infant Care

High bilirubin levels

08/18/2009

Question:

my grand daughters belirubin levels keep going up. She is 5 days old and they are 13 now. they were 8 at 2 days. The doctor says not to worry but she has had other problems and is in the nicu. her RDW was high but i dont know what that is. she was turning blue 1 to 2 hrs after eating and her white blood cell bands where high what is the highest level you would go before phototherapy?

Answer:

Your answer is not a direct one. How concerning or not concerning a bilirubin level is depends on the age of the child, when the levels started to rise, and when they peak. In general, bili lights are used for a level of around 20, but there are exceptions. The NICU staff will closely monitor all of your granddaughter's laboratory values as well as her respiratory status.

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Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati