Hyperbilirubinemia is one of the common causes of admission in newborns. There is concern about an increasing incidence of hyperbilirubinemia and possibility of kernicterus even in healthy term newborns. Thus, early prediction of newborns at risk for developing significant hyperbilirubinemia may be helpful in early intervention. This study was done to find out the association between cord blood bilirubin and hyperbilirubinemia at 72 hours of life and also the association between cord Hb and Hb at sixth month of life along with screening babies for congenital hypothyroidism by TSH assay at birth. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 120 term healthy newborn babies delivered in a tertiary care centre (MES Medical College, Perinthalmanna), were included in this study. They were screened at birth for cord blood Hb, bilirubin and TSH values. These values were compared with bilirubin values at 72 hours of life and Hb at sixth month. Chi-square and correlation tests were used and data analyzed using Epi Info software. RESULTS: Our study showed a strong association between cord blood bilirubin ( 2 mg/dL) and significant hyperbilirubinemia ( 14 mg/dL) at 72 hours of life with a p value of 0.009. No association was found between cord Hb and Hb at sixth month. CONCLUSION: A cord blood bilirubin value above 2 mg/dL is a useful predictor of significant hyperbilirubinemia ( 14 mg/dL) in healthy term newborns. KEYWORDS: Hyperbilirubinemia, kernicterus, cord blood.
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