Biliary atresia is a rare liver disease affecting newborns in the first month of life that can lead to death if not treated. Symptoms are prolonged jaundice and pale yellow, pale green, chalk white, or clay coloured stools. The stool colour card contains photos of normal and abnormal infant stool colours for parents to check their newborn’s stool colour against the colour card every day for the first month after birth. If they see an abnormal stool colour, they are to contact the screening program.
Based on a new colour card being used in Taiwan, Perinatal Services BC made revisions to the original six-colour stool card. Three abnormal colours have been added, so the new stool colour card now has six boxes depicting abnormal stool colour and three boxes depicting normal stool colour.
In addition, after receiving feedback from care providers and patients, changes were made to the text to make instructions clearer and to emphasize that if the family goes to their health care provider during the first month because they are concerned about their infant’s stool colour, they should take the card with them to help facilitate follow-up.
PSBC also updated the nurse script to support nurses and midwives with their communication to families at discharge and to reflect the card changes.
The new card has been translated into 11 languages, but the translated versions are not intended to be used for the colours; parents should always refer to the English card for accurate colours and refer to the translated version for instructions. They can be downloaded from the Biliary Atresia section of our website.