We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Jaundice

May also be called: Icterus

Jaundice (JON-diss) refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin in the blood.

More to Know

Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells (RBCs). Ordinarily, bilirubin passes through the liver and is discharged as bile in the intestines. Jaundice occurs when bilirubin builds up faster than the liver can break it down and pass it from the body. This can happen if too many RBCs are breaking down and going to the liver, if the liver is damaged or blocked, or if bilirubin doesn't pass through the digestive tract properly.

Jaundice, which isn't painful, can be caused by many things (such as infections and blood disorders) or be a sign of a problem with the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.

High levels of bilirubin can lead to serious complications if they go untreated for too long. Jaundice is most common among newborn babies and people with liver infections, gallstones, or substance abuse issues.

Keep in Mind

All cases of jaundice should be evaluated by a doctor. Treatment will depend on its cause — often, particularly with newborns, the cause is something harmless and the jaundice will clear up on its own.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.