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Health Benefits of Bilirubin


Prevention of bilirubin encephalopathy is based on the detection of infants at risk of developing a significant hyperbilirubinemia. This task can be accomplished by performing a simple umbilical cord blood test, such as blood group, Rh, Coombs’ test and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, in order to detect hemolytic diseases. In preterm infants, the prevention of hyperbilirubinemia with phototherapy is a relatively simple task, since these infants are cared for in hospital. Early hospital discharge of full-term neonates represents a major concern. The management of neonatal jaundice requires that therapy begins when total serum bilirubin levels are significantly below the levels at which kernicterus is considered an immediate threat.


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