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What You Need to Know about Jaundice in Newborns

Mark W Schwartz

The holder of a PhD in chemistry from Arizona State University (ASU), Mark W. Schwartz is a former president of the phase 3 oncology company Galena Biopharma. Mark W. Schwartz also serves as an advisor to the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation in Phoenix, during which time he discovered the promising startup NeoLight. He now serves as an advisor to the medical device company.

In October 2017, NeoLight received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its SkyLife portable phototherapy system designed to treat jaundice in newborn babies using high-intensity blue light LEDs. Jaundice prominently occurs in newborn babies born before 38 weeks gestation and is characterized by yellow-colored skin and an excess of bilirubin in the blood. The chemical compound passes through the liver, but newborns are unable to break it down as efficiently as adults, which often leads to jaundice.
While complications from jaundice are rare the condition must be carefully monitored, as a high bilirubin level causing severe newborn jaundice can potentially cause deafness, cerebral palsy, or other forms of permanent brain damage. Jaundice can also be a sign of an infection or a thyroid problem. Minor cases of jaundice in newborns typically appear at two to four days after birth and will disappear within a week or two. If you're unsure as to whether or not your baby has the condition, gently touch his or her nose or forehead and, if the skin appears yellow when you lift your finger, arrange to see the child's doctor.

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