Screening for Severe Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia

Vinod K. Bhutani


Pediatr Health. 2009;3(4):369-379. 

In This Article


Bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction can occur in term and late-preterm healthy babies, however, can be effectively prevented through rapid reduction of the increased bilirubin load by intensive phototherapy and/or exchange transfusion. However, these interventions leave a very narrow margin of safety for babies who are usually at home and not under direct medical supervision at the natural peak of hyperbilirubinemia (age 3-5 days). To ensure a safe experience with newborn jaundice and to efficiently prevent severe hyperbilirubinemia, such as that of spectrum bilirubin-related toxicities (including Kernicterus), every infant should be systematically screened for the risk of severe hyperbilirubinemia by both clinical and TB/TcB screening for a close follow-up based on the hour-specific bilirubin nomogram for prompt intervention, when necessary.


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