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With typically short postpartum stays, outpatient follow-up is needed to identify the minority of infants in whom bilirubin levels will be high enough to require treatment. Prediction of the infants at risk of significant hyperbilirubinemia is thus important. In this study, the authors tested a risk index at the time of hospital discharge for predicting subsequent significant jaundice; the risk factors examined included exclusive breastfeeding, bruising or cephalhematoma, Asian race, mothers older than 24 years, male sex, and gestational age. Approximately 2% of the 5706 newborns developed bilirubin levels of 20 mg/dL (342 μmol/L) or higher. A combination of the risk index and the bilirubin levels within the first 48 hours of life were the best predictors of subsequent hyperbilirubinemia needing treatment.
This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(2):105. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.2.105
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