Neonatal jaundice: Retrospective study

Original article


A. M. Aburawi, M. A. dekna, S. K. mletan, A. O. Shaban, K. Elmaghboub

Department of Paediatrics Faculty of Medicine Elfateh University, Tripoli- Libya
Tripoli Children Hospital

JMJ Vol.3 No.2 (September) 2004: 86-87


Jaundice is a common physical finding in neonates. Although it is commonly benign in the majority of babies, but hyperbilirubinaemia can cause serious short and / or long-term problems (e.g. kernicterus). A retrospective study was done by reviewing medical records of newborns admitted to our hospital during one year (from 1/1/1990 to 31/12/1990) aiming to find out the incidence, the cause(s), mode of therapy, and jaundice associated mortality in the admitted neonates. We found that one third (33%) of the admitted neonates had jaundice, but in only 13.5 % of them jaundice was the main reason for admission. Jaundice was noticed during the first day life in 17.2% of the jaundiced babies and 47.2% their serum bilirubin level reached 15 mg% or more. About half (51.1%) of the jaundiced babies were subjected to phototherapy and only 9.3% had exchange transfusion. About one in five (22.5%) of the jaundiced babies died during neonatal period. It is concluded that jaundice is a common finding among the admitted neonates and phototherapy is very useful for lowering serum bilirubin and by so doing it reduces the number of babies needing exchange transfusion.

Keywords: neonatal jaundice, hyperbilirubinaemia, exchange transfusion, phototherapy