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Don't Rely on Jaundiced Eye for Assessing Newborns
Date:3/23/2009

in late-preterm infants, those at 35 to 38 weeks gestational age. This is important, said Keren, because late-preterm infants are at greater risk of developing significant hyperbilirubinemia.

The one exception to the poor predictive value of visual assessment came in the 91 infants (17 percent of all those studied) rated by the nurses as having a complete absence of jaundice. For those infants, the actual risk of developing significant hyperbilirubinemia was extremely low, less than 1 percent. Even for those infants, said Keren, absence of visual jaundice may require a caveat. "Less experienced observers may be less capable of accurately assessing a complete absence of jaundice. All in all, the benefits of objective results from universal bilirubin screening may outweigh the benefit in reducing testing and costs from pursuing a selective screening approach."

Funding for the study came from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. Respironics of Murrysville, Pa, provided medical devices and equipment for the study. Keren's co-authors were Katie Tremont, B.S., and Xianqun Luan, M.S., both of Children's Hospital; and Avital Cnaan, Ph.D., of both Children's Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania.

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognit
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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