Screening for Severe Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia

Vinod K. Bhutani


Pediatr Health. 2009;3(4):369-379. 

In This Article

Future Perspective

In order to reduce the incidence of severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia affecting newborns with jaundice in the USA and to prevent kernicterus, there is a need to implement proven prevention strategies for severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, as initiated by 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines to all newborns in the USA.[1,102] The highest priority should be given to:

  • Designating TB greater than 427 μmol/l (>25 mg per 100 ml extreme hyperbilirubinemia) as a reportable condition through public health mandates;

  • Implementation of Joint Commission's Sentinel Report for kernicterus[101,103] and CDC education materials;[104]

  • Outreach to communities for education of prospective parents;[104,105]

  • Development of a pathway to monitor, evaluate and track infants with extreme hyperbilirubinemia;[102,106,107]

  • Societal awareness.[108]

These efforts should monitored by a kernicterus Electronic Disease Notification Data System in order to critically improve the timeliness and completeness of notifications and for allowing evaluation and interventions at the policy and individual family level.


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