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My child is having high level of direct bilirubin. what is the effect?

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  • Dr. Chris August 2, 2011

    Bilirubin is a byproduct of red blood cell destruction. These cells are constantly being broken down in the body as new cells take its place. Certain compounds like indirect bilirubin which is released when red blood cells are destroyed are then processed by the liver into direct bilirubin. This is passed out as bile which eventually enters the gut and is expelled with feces. Bilirubin, particularly direct bilirubin, is toxic to cells and the liver usually keep the levels within a normal range. The effects depends on several factors including he child’s age (infant or not), level of the elevated bilirubin and underlying causes of this. It can cause a host of clinical features including yellowing of the skin and ‘whites’ of the eyes (jaundice), to even damage of brain tissue (kernicterus). You should discuss this with your child’s doctor as soon as possible to get better clarity of the reason for this reading and possible treatment to overcome it.

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