Richard O. Shields, Jr. Pathophysiology
Jaundice is a physical finding that emergency physicians see both as a presenting complaint and as an abnormal finding during the evaluation of other complaints and symptoms. Except in neonates, jaundice itself causes no adverse effects; it serves as a clinical marker of a defect in the metabolism and excretion of bilirubin. The emergency physician must identify those jaundiced patients who require inpatient treatment of the underlying problem and initiate the laboratory or imaging studies on those who will be worked up as outpatients and arrange for their follow-up care.
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