Research Article

Ward design and neonatal jaundice in the tropics: report of an epidemic.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 10 August 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:400
  1. P Barss,
  2. K Comfort


    Architectural modifications to an existing tropical obstetric ward involved extension of the roof overhangs to a width of several metres. These extensions excluded most of the daylight from the ward. An alarming increase in the incidence of jaundice (bilirubin concentration greater than or equal to 240 mumol/l (greater than or equal to 14 mg/100 ml] from 0.5% to 17% in newborn infants occurred after the modifications. Tropical obstetric wards and nurseries should continue to be built with windows facing north-south for coolness. They should, however, have as many windows as possible and the roof overhangs should be limited to about 1 m to allow adequate indirect sunlight to enter, giving a high intensity of illumination, and help prevent neonatal jaundice.