June 1970

Phototherapy and Hyperbilirubinemia of the Premature

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and the Newborn Service, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;119(6):473-477. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100050475003

Phototherapy to prevent hyperbilirubinemia in the premature infant was tested with 47 light-treated and 51 control infants with birth weights of 1,250 to 1,500 gm (2 lb 10 oz to 3 lb 4 oz). All infants had a negative Coombs' test. Treated infants were continuously nursed under a light chamber for 24 hours to 6 days of age. Bilirubin equaled or exceeded 15 mg/100 cc in 25.5% of the controls and none of the light-treated infants. Treatment was as effective in Negro and Mexican-American infants as in white infants. The only difference noted in clinical behavior was the appearance of green stools in light-treated infants. Evaluation of growth and development of these infants will be necessary to establish the benefits and safety of phototherapy.