Neonatal jaundice: Determining risk factors at two Myanmar national pediatric hospitals
Jaundice is the most common neonatal ailment requiring treatment. Untreated, it can lead to acute bilirubin encephalopathy (ABE), chronic bilirubin encephalopathy (CBE), or death. ABE and CBE have been largely eliminated in industrialized countries, but remain a significant problem in low-resource settings.
In Myanmar, Thrive Networks/East Meets West conducted a study in two pediatric hospitals to determine major risk factors for admission of infants with severe jaundice. After analyzing data on 590 newborns treated on new phototherapy machines over a 13-20 month period, researchers identified home births and G6PD, a common genetic deficiency, as major risk factors for ABE.
Researchers concluded that additional interventions are required to ensure prompt referral of jaundiced neonates to treatment facilities, with particular focus on home births and communities with high rates of G6PD deficiency.