investigation of prolonged unconjugated jaundice

Last reviewed 01/2018

In babies with a gestational age of 37 weeks or more with jaundice lasting more than 14 days, and in babies with a gestational age of less than 37 weeks and jaundice lasting more than 21 days:

  • look for pale chalky stools and/or dark urine that stains the nappy
  • measure the conjugated bilirubin
  • carry out a full blood count
  • carry out a blood group determination (mother and baby) and DAT (Coombs' test). Interpret the result taking account of the strength of reaction, and whether mother received prophylactic anti-D immunoglobulin during pregnancy
  • carry out a urine culture
  • ensure that routine metabolic screening (including screening for congenital hypothyroidism) has been performed.

Follow expert advice about care for babies with a conjugated bilirubin level greater than 25 micromol/litre because this may indicate serious liver disease