Survey of management of neonatal haemolytic jaundice in Australasia

Atul Malhotra, Elizabeth Carse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Haemolytic jaundice is an important entity in neonatal clinical practice. Because of the decrease in rhesus isoimmunisation since the advent of anti-D immunoglobulin and improved antenatal management strategies, its management in the neonatal period has become less intensive and exchange transfusions rarely performed. Aim: We planned to review the practice of Australasian perinatal units in light of recent advances and recommendations. Methods: An electronic survey was sent to the directors of all 25 tertiary-level perinatal units across Australasia. The questionnaire comprised 20 questions dealing with the management of haemolytic jaundice. Results: Twenty out of the 25 neonatal units responded. Most were aware of the recent American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, but only eight (40%) based their practice on it. Fifty per cent of neonatal units had written protocols to manage such infants, but almost all had written guidelines for performing exchange transfusions. Seven (35%) units started prophylactic phototherapy; however, the criteria used for early exchange were variable, most related to cord haemoglobin or rate of rise of bilirubin. Few units used high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin in haemolytic jaundice. Average exchange rates (based on the last 2 years) were 3.5/year (0-10). Conclusion: Variable practice was noted across the Australasian units. Written protocols form the backbone of management of jaundice in such babies. The use of intravenous immunoglobulin is minimal, and the information available on its use needs to be critically appraised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-225
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Haemolysis
  • Jaundice
  • Management

Cite this