Skip to Main Content


For the most part, in the developed world, neonatal jaundice occurs without significant morbidity and/or mortality due to early diagnosis and treatment.1 However, most literature from low-middle-income countries (LMICs) suggests that it accounts for significant morbidity and mortality in contrast to that in the United States and developed world (Table 13-1).218 For example, based on limited population-based data available worldwide, severe neonatal jaundice is about 100-fold greater in Nigeria than in the developed world. In one of the few population-based studies from the developed world, Ebbesen et al.17 from Denmark reported that 24/100,000 neonates met exchange blood transfusion (exchange transfusion [ET]) criteria, while 9/100,000 developed acute bilirubin encephalopathy (ABE), in comparison to results from the only population-based study in Nigeria, in which Olusanya et al. reported 1860/100,000 infants had an EBT.19 Based on the limited data available, ABE is at least as common as tetanus as a cause of neonatal deaths in Nigeria, Kenya, and Pakistan,11,13,2023 and likely in most LMICs often ranking as one of the top five causes of neonatal death.8,11,13,24

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 13-1. Morbidity and Mortality Associated with Neonatal Jaundice 

The available literature indicates that, in LMICs, a significant proportion of survivors of severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia have signs of chronic bilirubin encephalopathy or kernicterus1 (e.g., cerebral palsy, deafness, and language processing disorders (Table 13-2).2534 Children with disabilities are a tremendous burden on families in LMICs, where resources are already stretched thin; such children are often left with few or no options for improved quality of life35,36 and ...

Want remote access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessPediatrics Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessPediatrics content and resources including 20+ textbooks such as Rudolph’s Pediatrics and The Pediatric Practice series, high-quality procedural videos, images, and animations, interactive board review, an integrated pediatric drug database, and more.

$595 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessPediatrics

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.