"Yellow Baby" (Old Terminology)
ricwag1142 posted:
Hi! I was born in 1959 and had a health problem that was commonly known at that time as "Yellow Baby." Fortunately there was a doctor at the hospital where I was born who was researching the problem and he took care of everything.

I want to know what this illness is so that I can research it just for general interest and for the possibility of long-term effect.
I've been told that I was born with an allergy to my mother's blood. I had to have a total transfusion - wiping out all of my current blood and introducing someone else's that evidently worked for me.

Does anyone know what this is?

scperdomo7 responded:
If I'm not mistaken, "yellow baby" refers to Jaundice.

Jaundice is caused by high levels of a chemical called bilirubin in the baby's body.
  • Red blood cells are being made and being broken down continually in all people, including babies before and after birth. Haemoglobin in the red blood cells breaks down into smaller chemicals including bilirubin.
  • Before birth the bilirubin is carried out of the baby through the placenta, and into the mother's blood.
  • When a baby is born, the baby's liver suddenly has to take over the work of getting rid of bilirubin and it can take the liver a few days to fully manage this.
Jaundice can be seen in about 60% of full term babies (babies who are born after about 38 weeks of pregnancy). It is even more common in babies who are born early or who are sick.
Some babies will need treatment for the jaundice, while for most the jaundice will not last long (between 1 and 2 weeks) and not cause problems even without treatment.
If babies have a high level of bilirubin (the substance that causes jaundice) they may need to have phototherapy (treatment with a very bright light). The bilirubin level needs to be very high before it causes health problems for a baby.
hgreenwood7058 responded:
Agreed with the poster above.Regarding the other information about the transfusion it sounds like She may have been RH negative and you may have been RH positive. Usually mothers will receive a rhogam shot to help prevent any adverse affects. This may or may not have taken place with your mom. You may try looking up information regarding that as well.
ricwag1142 replied to hgreenwood7058's response:
Thanks to you both.