This guideline covers diagnosing and treating jaundice, which is caused by increased levels of bilirubin in the blood, in newborn babies (neonates). It aims to help detect or prevent very high levels of bilirubin, which can be harmful if not treated.
In October 2016, recommendation 1.4.9 was amended to clarify when intensified phototherapy should be used in relation to time since birth.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- providing information to parents or carers
- managing and treating hyperbilirubinaemia
- measuring and monitoring bilirubin thresholds before and during phototherapy
- assessing babies for underlying disease
- caring of babies with prolonged jaundice
- using intravenous immunoglobulin, exchange transfusion and other therapies
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Parents of newborn babies and their families and carers
Next review date: 2018
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.