Assigning an analysis to bilirubin in newborns, why is it needed?

Blood test

In the first days of a baby's life, you can notice strange symptoms, including yellow skin, which can be both a pathological and a physiological manifestation. Doctors prescribe an analysis for bilirubin in newborns, since the symptom indicates a significant increase in its level. Usually yellowness is manifested in the first days of life and is considered the norm, but if the pathological skin tone does not pass for a long time, then this indicates the development of liver diseases.


  • What are the causes of increased bilirubin?
  • Why take an analysis for bilirubin?
  • How do they pass tests?
  • Which indicators are considered the norm?

What are the causes of increased bilirubin?

Bilirubin is a component of blood that appears after the breakdown of hemoglobin into erythrocytes. The enzyme is produced in everyone in the body, and its withdrawal occurs through the liver. In infants, hemoglobin is produced actively and replaced by an adult form, the liver is unable to stably synthesize and excrete bilirubin.

Pathological yellowness of the skin, in which the newborn needs analysis to the level of enzymes

Because of the overabundance of bilirubin cells, the skin turns yellow, the brightness of the color depends on how the organism works, taking into account the concomitant diseases. If the process does not take long, and the symptoms of yellowness are not expressed, then this is considered the norm. However, if the yellowness of the skin is expressed brightly and is observed for more than a week, then the chances of developing chronic jaundice are increased.

Specialists distinguish 3 types of bilirubin.

  1. Unbonded, or indirect. Toxic, as bilirubin is synthesized, but not processed by the liver. Insoluble in water, but easily broken down in fat and quickly enters the body, destroying the normal work of organs and inhibiting the functions of life.
  2. Bound, or straight. Such bilirubin is easily synthesized by the liver and does not pose a danger to the normal functioning of the body.
  3. Common. General view - a combination of direct and indirect.

The newborn just begins to form the immune system, so a large amount of bilirubin will be harmful and difficult for a small liver.


To find out what diseases caused the long yellowness of the skin, and how much bilirubin is contained in the blood of a baby, it is necessary to contact the doctors who will conduct the tests, diagnose and prescribe adequate treatment.

One way to check the level of bilirubin in infants

Why take an analysis for bilirubin?

If bilirubin rises sharply and the skin remains yellow for more than a week, it means that the hemoglobin is split faster than the prescribed one. It has the property of transferring oxygen and disintegrating into red blood cells, so the infant quickly replaces hemoglobin with an adult form.

Usually, the analysis of the content of bilirubin cells is necessary to:

  • determine what is associated with a sharp increase in bilirubin and how active is the process of splitting hemoglobin into small blood rings;
  • to determine why a yellow rash appears, and what is the reason for its duration;
  • understand what diseases affected the immune system and organs, how the baby's organism works in the first days of life.

The excess of bilirubin is dangerous for the normal functioning of the baby's body, since it can disrupt the functioning of the liver and other organs.


The analysis is prescribed for children in the first days of life, especially those with symptoms of yellowness of the skin appearing more active and much faster. If you do not turn to specialists in time, it threatens with the active development of jaundice, which can become chronic and disrupt the normal functioning of the child's body.

Table of bilirubin level at different stages of jaundice development and skin lesion area

How do they pass tests?

The delivery of the biomaterial for the study is fast and almost painless for the baby. Experienced nurses take blood with a thin needle that almost leaves no traces and does not deliver pain. Blood is taken from the vein, but since the baby is practically invisible, it is taken from the superficial vein that is located on the head.

Bilirubin is tested with a special device that is applied to the baby and scans for skin color. The resulting image is sent to the computer screen and determine the level of bilirubin and a threat to the baby.

How is bilirubin assayed by a newborn method

Which indicators are considered the norm?

At birth, the level of bilirubin in children is 50-60 μmol / l, on the 3rd or 4th day of life it rises to 200-205 μmol / l, and this is the norm. It is considered dangerous when the bilirubin content exceeds the mark of 256 μmol / l. In this case, it is necessary to beat the alarm and start treatment.

In a premature baby, the norm is 2, μmol / L, and the dangerous level is higher than 170 μmol / L, with this indicator, medical intervention is required. The level of bilirubin and its concentration depends on such factors:

  • term of a birth of the kid as premature babies are inclined to development of a jaundice;
  • the state of the mother during pregnancy and childbirth, which affect the health of the baby and in which case can provoke chronic diseases and pathologies;
  • hypothermia, abnormal breastfeeding, or exposure to external factors that could provoke chronic pathologies in the baby in the womb.
Stages of formation and disintegration of bilirubin and its excretion from the body

The baby can suffer from jaundice on the hereditary line, if problems were observed with relatives. In this case, it can be chronic, but in children it can be cured more easily than in adults. Therefore, doctors take a blood test for a special pigment - bilirubin in newborns, which will indicate the development of jaundice and other dangerous liver diseases.


If the time does not give importance to pathological changes in the tests and clearly expressed symptoms, jaundice will continue to disrupt the normal functioning of the body.


The blood for bilirubin is delivered quickly, the procedure does not entail complications. Research is necessary in order to protect the child from the aggressive effects of pathologies on small unprotected organism, so neglect the recommendations of the doctor and refuse to conduct analysis is impossible. Otherwise, negligence can cause a threat to the life of the newborn.

More information about the level of bilirubin and its uncharacteristic changes can be found in the video:

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