THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PROLONGED NEONATAL JAUNDICE INVESTIGATED AT PRIMARY HEALTH CLINICS IN KOTA BHARU, KELANTAN
Keywords:hyperbilirubinemia, neonatal jaundice, prolonged jaundice
Introduction: Prolonged neonatal jaundice is affecting 15-40% of breastfed new-borns. Although breastmilk jaundice is the common aetiology, undetected pathological causes could lead to unfavourable sequelae. This study described the characteristics, aetiology and burden of prolonged neonatal jaundice investigated at the primary care level in Kota Bharu district. Methods: This crosssectional study was done from July till December 2019, involving 14 health clinics in Kota Bharu. Selection criteria involved term new-borns at day 14 of life or preterm at day 21 of life that had visible jaundice or serum bilirubin >85?mol/l. Clinical details, investigations, and management were carried out based on normal practice at the clinics. A registry was established to capture the burden. Results: Prolonged jaundice were detected among 22.5% [95% CI 21.5, 23.6] of new-borns attending primary health clinics in Kota Bharu. A total of 291 cases were further analysed; 275 (94.5%) were term newborns and 243 (83.5%) were breastfed. Affected new-borns underwent blood and urine sampling with multiple follow-ups. On average, jaundice subsided within 12 days [SD=5.5, 95% CI:11.7, 13.1] after detection of this condition. Majority had prolonged unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia (98.6%) and main aetiology was breastmilk jaundice (84.5%). Minority had hypothyroidism (3.4%) and conjugated hyperbilirubinemia (1.7%). Out of 129 cases sent for urine culture, 12 (9.3%) had significant growth, mostly E.coli. Conclusion: The majority of neonates with prolonged jaundice were term and breastfed. While the main aetiology was breastmilk jaundice, other underlying pathologies were also identified. As the burden of this condition is high, multistage investigation is strongly recommended. Urinary tract infections screening should be routinely considered.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Dr Hazlienor Mohd Hatta, Dr Mohd Ikhwan Azmi, Dr Nik Aida Nik Adib, Dr Najihah Mahfuzah Zakria, Dr Latifah Dahalan
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