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Simple test accurately predicts risk of serious jaundice in newborns
Date:1/10/2008

ont need any additional follow-up for jaundice. About 70 percent of babies fell into the low-risk category, while 13 percent were designated high risk and 17 percent were in the middle, said Keren.

It did a nice job of pulling out a very large group of babies you dont have to worry about and a small group of babies that need to be closely followed, Keren said.

About four million babies are born in the U.S. each year. Of those, about 60 percent will develop jaundice in the first few days of life, but only about 1 in 100,000 will develop bilirubin levels that cause brain damage, known as kernicterus.

The authors caution that the study has a few limitations, including a small sample size. Some infants in the study were treated with phototherapy, high levels of colored light used to break down the bilirubin, before meeting the criteria. Finally, about half of the study participants were born to black mothers and the researchers data indicates black infants are less prone to develop significant hyperbilirubinemia.

More research on risk-assessment strategies is needed to weigh the cost of implementing a universal program and its effectiveness for preventing severe hyperbilirubinemia against false test results, unnecessary testing and treatment, and delay in hospital discharge, said Keren.


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Contact: Juliann Walsh
walshj1@email.chop.edu
267-426-6054
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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