Extreme hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus, though rare, continue to occur despite the
adoption of universal screening. Unless they are known to have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
deficiency, infants who currently develop kernicterus in high resource countries are often
otherwise healthy newborns discharged from the well-baby nursery. In this review, we highlight
risk factors that increase the risk of a newborn ≥35 weeks gestational age developing severe hyperbilirubinemia,
as well as the risk factors that increase the hyperbilirubinemic infant’s risk of kernicterus.
Keywords: Hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice, neonates, kernicterus, neurotoxicity, phototherapy.
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