When to start phototherapy for jaundice
On all babies who are jaundiced in the first 24 hours of life
Areas where jaundice is visible and when to start phototherapy
- Area 1: If the jaundice is limited to area 1, then the serum bilirubin is likely in the range 150-200 mmol/L.
Only start phototherapy if day 1
- Area 1 + 2: If the jaundice involves area 1+2 i.e. over the trunk, then the serum bilirubin is likely in the range 200- 300 mmol/L.
If preterm, low birth weight, or term but sick and there is jaundice over the trunk start phototherapy
- Area 1-5 : i.e. involves palms and soles: If the jaundice extends to include all areas (1-5) including the soles i.e. then the serum bilirubin is likely >340 mmol/L.
Start phototherapy on all babies including healthy term babies if the jaundice extends to include the palms and soles
When to start phototherapy - serum bilirubin or transcutaneous bilirubin available
|Day of life
||Healthy term Baby
||Preterm < 35 weeks, LBW
||Treat any visible jaundice with phototherapy
|Day 4 and thereafter