Although there is still no cure for childhood liver disease, early diagnosis is key as it can reduce the need for a liver transplant at an early age. This is the reason behind CLDF’s Yellow Alert campaign which provides health professionals with the information they need to identify the signs of liver disease in newborn babies. Here Sarah* an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, explains how her team use Yellow Alert.
When I joined the team, it became clear that jaundice practice, although safe, needed a little work to educate parents and post-natal staff on the importance for screening for jaundice, treatments and the potential complications of the disease.
Although I and some of the consultants had heard about the Yellow Alert campaign, we were unaware of all the resources available until I contacted CLDF.
We have a birth rate of approx. 140/month. Not all of these infants will require information; however we are endeavouring to capture as many of the ‘at risk’ infants as possible. We want to ensure that all parents leave hospital with all the information they require without overloading them.
We now provide CLDF’s leaflet on jaundice in a newborn baby to every rhesus negative mother, every Direct Coombs Test (DCT) positive baby and every baby with risk factors for jaundice (as described in NICE clinical guidance). This information is given to new parents at discharge, along with their discharge chat and other information.
We have not officially audited the impact this change has had, although anecdotally, the postnatal staff like giving the parents something tangible they can take away with them as well as the chance to refer to it themselves once they are in the community.
May I take this opportunity to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU for all your hard work and willingness to provide these resources free of charge. They really do inform parents and empower midwifes, and act as a gentle reminder to all, about the importance of screening jaundice and the unfortunate potential complications that can arise, if we do not act quickly.