Jaundice is an ominous sign, since it represents hepatic dysfunction. It might represent sepsis, congenital infection (TORCHS), or postnatal viral hepatitis. It might represent a minor ABO incompatibility or a major ABO or Rh factor incompatibility, with the possibility of kernicterus or death. It may represent the first signs of cystic fibrosis, galactosemia, or other hepatic enzyme deficiencies, or it could be the harbinger of an anatomic problem such as biliary atresia, a choledochal cyst, or even pyloric stenosis. All jaundiced patients must be evaluated promptly and consultation obtained ( Table 1.23-7).
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