Navigation Links
Universal screening lowers risk of severe jaundice in infants
Date:9/27/2009

Screening all newborns for excessive bilirubin in the blood can significantly decrease the incidence of severe jaundice which, in extreme cases, can lead to seizures and brain damage, according to researchers at UCSF Children's Hospital and Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in Oakland, CA.

The study, one of the first to examine the effectiveness of universal screening for hyperbilirubinemia, appears in the current issue of "Pediatrics," the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study is one of six in this issue to explore the topic of bilirubin and hyperbilirubinemia.

Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by an elevation of a bile pigment, called bilirubin, in the blood. Bilirubin is made when the body breaks down old red blood cells, and high levels can cause jaundice, a condition that makes the newborn's skin and the white part of the eyes look yellow.

The researchers explain that most newborns have a rise in bilirubin in the days following birth. However, very high blood levels can be toxic to the nervous system. Monitoring these levels in babies with jaundice is important so that treatment can be started before levels become excessive, explain the researchers. They add that high bilirubin levels can be treated with light therapy, which converts the bilirubin into a form that the body can remove.

"While we know that early identification of bilirubin levels before reaching toxic levels is important, bilirubin screening has not been universal, as physicians have decided which infants to screen based upon their degree of jaundice and clinical risk factors," said Michael Kuzniewicz, MD, MPH, the lead author of the study and a neonatologist at UCSF Children's Hospital. "This study provides evidence that universal screening during the birth hospitalization is a more effective method for monitoring bilirubin levels in order to prevent them from rising to a point that can damage an infant's brain."

The study evaluated the impact of implementation of the 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guideline on the management of jaundice in the Northern California facilities operated by Kaiser Permanente. The guideline recommends that every newborn be assessed for the risk of developing severe jaundice with a bilirubin level before discharge home and/or an assessment of clinical risk factors.

With universal screening, researchers noted a 62 percent decrease in the number of newborns with very high bilirubin levels. The study also describes an increase in the use of phototherapy to treat infants with elevated bilirubin levels, sometimes even when the AAP guidelines did not call for it.

Researchers in this study evaluated both blood tests and devices that estimate the bilirubin level from the color of the baby's skin as methods of screening. "The method didn't seem to matter as much as changing the standard operating procedure, such that all babies are screened," said study co-author Gabriel Escobar, MD, regional director for hospital operations research and a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research's Perinatal Research Unit in Oakland, CA. "With additional education to help avoid excessive use of phototherapy, we think universal screening is a very good tool to reduce cases of serious hyperbilirubinemia."

"This research highlights the power of laboratory databases in supporting research and quality improvement," according to senior author Thomas B. Newman, MD, MPH, with the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the UCSF Division of General Pediatrics.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kate Schoen
kschoen@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Vision for a Nation: Universal Access to Eyeglasses for the People of Rwanda
2. Obama - Care Parody Takes Look Inside Realities of Universal Health Care Plan
3. Universal Medical Systems of Ohio Introduces Charlie, Worlds First Portable, Battery-Operated, Multi-Slice CT Scanner for Pets
4. National Hispanic Medical Association Supports Universal Health Coverage
5. Free Choice to Petition Japanese Government for Right to Choose Private Health Insurance in Lieu of Japan's Universal Health Care
6. Universal influenza vaccination may reduce antibiotic use
7. Facial Expressions Not Universally Understood
8. New Evidence-Based Research Shows that Universal Comprehensive Eye Exams Would Help More Children Succeed in School
9. Members of Over 71 Million U.S. Households Ignored by Universal Healthcare
10. Universal Health Services, Inc. Reports Significant Increases In 2009 Second Quarter and Six-Month Earnings, Raises Full Year Guidance
11. Universal Health Realty Income Trust Reports 2009 Second Quarter Financial Results
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss ... plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due ... up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away ... a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm ... 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered ... Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a ... second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... N.J. , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced ... Premier Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . ... year, Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier ... creation through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... to receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, ... Canada)" report to their offering. ... essential tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure ... at surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: