Dec 17

“I vould like sekond opinion please, doktorrr.”

The man looked up at me defiantly, his face haggard and creased with worry; his wife huddled next to him, sobbing quietly, their son cradled carefully in her arms.

The repeated and agitated “nyet, nyet” that peppered mom’s teary discussions with her husband should have been a clue that things were going sideways.

A public health nurse, disturbed by the 6-day-old baby’s deeply yellow complexion, had sent the young family to the emergency department.

I examined little Anton thoroughly, after obtaining important additional details from his parents, including the alarming news that the little guy had lost all interest in breast-feeding.

He was sleepy, difficult to rouse despite a firm rub of his sternum, a simple maneuver that reliably produces, in a healthy baby, lusty cries of protest.  Anton offered only a weak and high-pitched whimper, rousing just enough to display the yellowed whites of his eyes, and drifted back to sleep. Read the rest of this entry »