Neonatal physiologic jaundice results from simultaneous occurrence of the following two phenomena : • Bilirubin production is elevated because of increased breakdown of fetal erythrocytes. This is the result of the shortened lifespan of fetal erythrocytes and the higher erythrocyte mass in neonates.Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, defined as a total serum bilirubin level above 5 mg per dL (86 μmol per L), is a frequently encountered problem.
The statistics of an international survey regarding the use of such national guidelines, showing that the majority of those queried confirm having national guidelines. The evidence base for any neonatal jaundice guideline is weak; therefore, it is not surprising that the various guidelines differ both in format and in specifics. In the Norwegian guidelines, treatment indications are based on bilirubin concentrations and related to birth weight. Postnatal age is also factored in because jaundice develops gradually during the first 3-4 days before it levels off.