The Minolta/Hill-Rom Air-Shields Transcutaneous Jaundice Meter accurately measures bilirubin levels by shining lights of different colors through the skin and measuring the reflection, eliminating the need for blood tests via heel pricks.
Bile is a liquid mixture of cholesterol, bile salts, and waste products, including bilirubin, which the liver excretes through thousands of tiny biliary ducts to the intestine, where the bile aids in the digestive process of dietary fats.
The bilirubin test will determine if hyperbilirubinemia is present and, along with other diagnostic tests, help determine if the condition is relatively normal (benign) or possibly related to liver function problems or other conditions.
If bilirubin levels are elevated, indicating impending intrauterine death, the fetus can be given intrauterine transfusions at ten-day to two-week intervals, generally until 32 to 34 weeks gestation, when delivery should be performed.
Biliary atresia-the underdevelopment, inflammation, or obstruction of the bile ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gall bladder and small intestine-causes bile to build up in the liver and forces the bilirubin into the blood.
Bilirubin-induced complications can be prevented by introducing a neonatal jaundice protocol to identify infants at risk for significant bilirubin increases, by ensuring adequate parental education and providing for follow-up care.
Performing bilirubin tests is the first step in making sure that normal degrees of jaundice do not become more severe and that liver dysfunction or other causative conditions, if present, are identified and treated early.
Infants who are discharged from the hospital before bilirubin levels begin to rise, about three days after birth, should have their bilirubin level tested within a few days, particularly if they were preterm infants.
In the TSB test, spectrophotometry is used to identify and quantify the amount of bilirubin in a specific amount of serum by measuring the amount of ultraviolet light absorbed by bilirubin pigment in the sample.
The risk of liver dysfunction has been shown to be higher in infants who were born before term (less than 37 weeks' gestation) or who have other abnormalities in addition to an elevated total serum bilirubin.