, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 253-255
Date: 20 Dec 2011

Editorial: Building Evidence to Manage Newborn Jaundice Worldwide

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Newborn jaundice is universal and usually benign; but when progressive it can be effectively managed in any population through systematic screening (prenatal and postnatal) for identifiable risk factors, any attention to optimal breast milk intake and use of prophylactic phototherapy [1, 2]. Worldwide, about 14.1 million babies (about 10.5% of live births) annually are likely to require phototherapy (Fig. 1). Though use of phototherapy is evidence-based, proven, non-intrusive and non-expensive, more than 6 million (~45%) of at-risk infants do not have access to this life-saving and effective intervention [3]. Conservatively, approximately 1.4 million infants sustain bilirubin >25 mg/dL (427 μmol/L) every year, an extreme level of over 99.9th percentile, that places them at an unacceptable high risk for the most easily preventable neonatal brain injury. At least 2.4 million (40%) infants represent those without access to phototherapy in Central and South Asia. Of these, an unknown numbe ...