'Be vigilant for baby jaundice'

GPs have been warned to be vigilant in checking for signs of jaundice in newborns.

Yellow urine and stool colour are key indicators of neonatal jaundice, says the Children's Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

But a survey of 100 GPs showed that only 29 per cent recognised yellow urine as a sign of potential liver disease in babies.

There appeared to be uncertainty over how to distinguish between breast milk jaundice and that resulting from liver disease.

Just 39 per cent of GPs questioned said they would carry out a split bilirubin test to make the distinction.

Dr Graham Archard, vice-chairman of the RCGP, which is backing CLDF's 'Yellow Alert' campaign, said: 'If you miss it, the consequences are a disaster.'

As part of the 'Yellow Alert' campaign, GPs and other health professionals can be sent free resource packs. To apply email yellowalert@childliverdisease.org or call (0121) 212 3839.

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