News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Beware Yellow: that baby could have serious liver disease

Beware Yellow: that baby could have serious liver disease

Beware yellow - it could be a sign your young baby has serious liver disease and needs prompt treatment, medical experts warn.

Jaundice - which causes yellow skin and eyes - is common in newborn babies but in babies more than two weeks old it could indicate potential fatal liver disease, says Dr Helen Evans, consultant in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland.

Dr Evans says New Zealand has one of the highest rates of paediatric liver disease in the OECD, but it can be easily detected with a simple blood test.

“Any baby with jaundice, diarrhoea and itching should be seen by a specialist paediatrician. If you have any concerns about your baby’s health, then you should contact your midwife or GP. A special blood test called a split bilirubin, usually done as a heel prick, will tell doctors whether or not to worry about liver disease.

“We urge parents and health professionals to look out for the early warning signs. The earlier after birth that a diagnosis is made, the greater chance the child has of a normal healthy future.” 

The main signs are jaundice (on day one of birth, or after two weeks), pale stools and dark urine.

Dr Evans says every month a New Zealand baby is born with severe liver disease, and the incidence is higher among Maori and Polynesian families. She is working with Otago University on a nationwide study.

To help raise the yellow alert, Kids Foundation/IDFNZ families, medical staff and supporters will meet in Auckland Domain at 1pm on Friday, February 28 to mark Rare Disease Day.

They will release yellow balloons to raise awareness and support families coping with paediatric liver disease - and they’ll be helped by the friendly St John mascot yellow-eyed penguin, Primo.

“We thought it fitting that this endangered New Zealand native bird could help spread the message about our precious New Zealand jaundiced babies,” says IDFNZ chief executive Janet Simons.

For details: www.idfnz.org.nz or ph 0508 300600

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Rushing For Gold

The first section focuses particularly on the Victorian connections – commercial, legal, mining and personal, including migration statistics. But for me the most interesting chapters were in the middle sections about the people of the goldfields. More>>

Comedy Festival Review: VOTE BATT

The political campaigning in the US over the last eight months or so has provided a stark insight into how far political candidates are willing to go. This background came into focus as “former comedian” – now politician – Tim Batt ushered people up into the front seats, passing out badges and taking photographs with his not entirely adoring public... More>>

HRH QEII's 90th: New Zealand Post Birthday Stamps Fit For A Queen

New Zealand Post is celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special series of stamps and a limited edition silver coin. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. To mark her birthday, New Zealand Post has produced ‘lenticular’ or moving stamps that feature nine different images of the Queen on just three stamps. More>>

ALSO:

Anzac Day: A Time To Stand Against Hatred

The Human Rights Commission says ANZAC Day is a time for New Zealanders to remember those things our grandparents stood for and stand up against intolerance and prejudice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news