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If treated, babies with moderately severe hyperbilirubinaemia develop normally

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 15 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:0-e

Research questionWhat happens to term babies who develop moderately severe hyperbilirubinaemia?

AnswerWith treatment, almost all of them develop normally.

Why did the authors do the study? Although extremely high concentrations of bilirubin in newborns can cause devastating brain damage, the long term effects of less extreme hyperbilirubinaemia are not as clear. The authors wanted to find out what happened to babies that were otherwise healthy but developed moderately severe hyperbilirubinaemia (serum concentration of bilirubin > 428 µmol/l) within 30 days of birth.

What did they do? They identified 140 infants with serum concentrations of bilirubin> 428 µmol/l and a comparison cohort of 419 …

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