[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of total serum bilirubin concentration (TSB) and free (unbound) bilirubin concentration (Bf) as predictors of risk for bilirubin toxicity and kernicterus and to examine consistency between these findings and proposed mechanisms of bilirubin transport and brain uptake.
A review of literature was undertaken to define basic principles of bilirubin transport and brain uptake leading to neurotoxicity. We then reviewed experimental and clinical evidence that relate TSB or Bf to risk for bilirubin toxicity and kernicterus.
There are insufficient published data to precisely define sensitivity and specificity of either TSB or Bf in determining risk for acute bilirubin neurotoxicity or chronic sequelae (kernicterus). However, available laboratory and clinical evidence indicate that Bf is better than TSB in discriminating risk for bilirubin toxicity in patients with severe hyperbilirubinemia. These findings are consistent with basic pharmacokinetic principles involved in bilirubin transport and tissue uptake.
Experimental and clinical data strongly suggest that measurement of Bf in newborns with hyperbilirubinemia will improve risk assessment for neurotoxicity, which emphasizes the need for additional clinical evaluation relating Bf and TSB to acute bilirubin toxicity and long-term outcome. We speculate that establishing risk thresholds for neurotoxicity by using newer methods for measuring Bf in minimally diluted serum samples will improve the sensitivity and specificity of serum indicators for treating hyperbilirubinemia, thus reducing unnecessary aggressive intervention and associated cost and morbidity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To propose and implement a family-centered systems approach to manage newborn jaundice for safer outcomes.
Observational study for known adverse outcomes.
Semiprivate urban birthing hospital.
31,059 well babies discharged as healthy from a cohort of 41,961 live births (1990-2000).
Incremental implementation of a systems approach that incorporated a hospital policy to (a) authorize nurses to obtain a bilirubin (total serum/transcutaneous) measurement for clinical jaundice, (b) universal predischarge total serum bilirubin (at routine metabolic screening), and (c) targeted follow-up, using the bilirubin nomogram (hour-specific, percentile-based total serum bilirubin/transcutaneous bilirubin).
Known adverse outcomes assessed for early- and late-onset severe hyperbilirubinemia before, during, and after systems approach implementation.
Adverse outcomes decreased for well babies: exchange transfusion, intensive phototherapy, and readmission. During the study period, there were no "never events" (total serum bilirubin greater than or equal to 30 mg/dl), while "close calls" (total serum bilirubin greater than or equal to 25 mg/dl) were 1 in 15,000 as compared to a reported incidence of 1 in 625.
Reduced adverse events, significant reduction in close calls, and no never events met family expectations for safer experiences with this approach.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our approach for risk management of severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia to prevent kernicterus--one of the most easily preventable causes of neonatal brain damage--includes management of certain high-risk clinical situations, identification of systems failure, and suggestions for implementation strategies to enhance patient safety.
Clinics in Perinatology 04/2005; 32(1):125-39, vii. · 2.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kernicterus, thought to be due to severe hyperbilirubinemia, is an uncommon disorder with tragic consequences, especially when it affects healthy term and near-term infants. Early identification, prevention and treatment of severe hyperbilirubinemia should make kernicterus a preventable disease. However, national epidemiologic data are needed to monitor any preventive strategies. Recommendations are provided to obtain prospective data on the prevalence and incidence of severe hyperbilirubinemia and associate mortality and neurologic injury using standardized definitions, explore the clinical characteristics and root causes of kernicterus in children identified in the Kernicterus Pilot Registry, identify and test an indicator for population surveillance, validating systems-based approaches to the management of newborn jaundice, and explore the feasibility of using biologic or genetic markers to identify infants at risk for hyperbilirubinemia. Increased knowledge about the incidence and consequences of severe hyperbilirubinemia is essential to the planning, implementation and assessment of interventions to ensure that infants discharged as healthy from their birth hospitals have a safer transition to home, avoiding morbidity due to hyperbilirubinemia and other disorders. At a recent NIHCD-sponsored conference, key questions were raised about kernicterus and the need for additional strategies for its prevention. These questions and an approach to their answers form the basis of this report.
Journal of Perinatology 11/2004; 24(10):650-62. · 2.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kernicterus in sick and preterm infants is a rarity. Universal availability of phototherapy and concerted clinical efforts to identify, effectively manage and establish clinical guidelines have been instrumental in preventing kernicterus in US intensive care nurseries. However, in sick and preterm infants the absence of precise data on prevalence of bilirubin induced neurologic injury, the lack of proven predictive indices and the absence of evidence-based studies that clearly demonstrate the actual risk of kernicterus. These leave questions regarding the basis for clinical strategies and recommendations for the management of neonatal jaundice in this select population. This article reviews 6 preterm infants selected from the Pilot Kernicterus Registry who had recovered from life-threatening neonatal illnesses, briefly discusses current indices used to ascertain risk, and offers an initial bilirubin level based identification of infants while future directions and studies are conducted to supplement our presently incomplete knowledge for safer clinical practice.
Seminars in Perinatology 11/2004; 28(5):319-25. · 2.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New data support restructuring the approach toward diagnosis and management of hyperbilirubenia in the term neonate to make it more physician-friendly and gain wider implementation. The authors advocate clear criteria for patient safety, preventive approaches, and timely interventions. Structural changes to facilitate a system-based approach should include predischarge bilirubin management; follow-up bilirubin management; and lactational support and nutritional management. The authors advocate total serum bilirubin screening and a scoring system based on clinical risk factors as predischarge screening strategies; we should screen all babies for hyperbilirubinemia and for targeted follow-up based on an hour-specific total serum bilirubin measured for risk assessment. We should also provide focused universal education emphasizing adequate lactational nutrition, to decrease severe hyperbilirubinemia and thus prevent kernicterus.
Pediatric Clinics of North America 09/2004; 51(4):843-61, vii. · 1.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kernicterus, a preventable injury to the brain from severe neonatal jaundice, has re-emerged in the United States as a public and societal health concern. Kernicterus, in its usually recognized form, causes devastating disabilities, including athetoid cerebral palsy and speech and hearing impairment. This condition not only ranks amongst the highest cost per new case (per CDCs Financial Burden of Disability study, 1992), but also results in profound and uncompromising grief for the family and loss to siblings of healthy, talkative playmates. And for the child with kernicterus (usually remarkably intelligent, but trapped in an uncontrollable body), grief and frustration are enormous. In 2001 national healthcare organizations, including Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JACHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued alerts to all accredited hospitals and public health professionals in the United States that all healthy infants are at potential risk of kernicterus if their newborn jaundice is unmonitored and inadequately treated. The re-emergence of kernicterus in the United States is the result of interacting phenomena including (a) Early hospital discharge (before extent of jaundice is known and signs of impending brain damage have appeared); (b) Lack of adequate concern for the risks of severe jaundice in healthy term and near newborns; (c) An increase in breast feeding; (d) Medical care cost constraints; (e) Paucity of educational materials to enable parents to participate in safeguarding their newborns; and (f) Limitations within in healthcare systems to monitor the outpatient progression of jaundice. A multidisciplinary approach that encompasses both healthcare and societal needs should be evaluated at a national level for practical and easy to implement strategies. An approach that is based on principles of evidence-based medicine, patient-safety and family centeredness is presented in this article. These strategies should also be based on public awareness campaign such that the healthcare providers can attempt to achieve a "Zero Tolerance of Kernicterus" and thereby decrease both childhood disabilities and infant mortality within the community.
The Indian Journal of Pediatrics 06/2003; 70(5):407-16. · 0.72 Impact Factor