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Kernicterus

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 7 November 2007, Official Report, column 1285W, on kernicterus, (1) when the Department plans to consider whether additional information should be added to the Pregnancy Book; (204231)

(2) how many (a) deaths and (b) morbidities from kernicterus there were in the last 10 years, broken down by (i) maternity unit and (ii) ethnicity;

(3) with reference to the answer of 25 January 2007, Official Report, column 2045W, on the Pregnancy Book, what options are under consideration for the future of the Pregnancy Book, contingent on the outcome of the review.

We do not hold statistics centrally in the form requested. However, the number of admissions to hospital for which kernicterus was given as the main cause are shown in the following table. This is not, of course, likely to give a complete picture of morbidity since other causes of admission, such as jaundice, may be recorded instead.

National health service hospitals England and activity performed in the independent sector in England commissioned by English NHS,count of hospital admissions where the primary diagnosis was Kernicterus

Admissions

2006-07

8

2005-06

3

2004-05

7

2003-04

3

2002-03

7

2001-02

0

2000-01

2

1999-2000

2

1998-99

5

1997-98

3

We are currently considering changes to the content of future editions of the Pregnancy Book.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 271W, on the Pregnancy Book, (1) whether standardisation of total serum bilirubin measurements has been accomplished; whether the cases of kernicterus reported to the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit have been analysed with a root cause analysis; whether a system of mandatory reporting of elevated bilirubin levels has been established; and what arrangements have been made for ready access to transcutaneous bilirubin and total serum bilirubin measurements among in-patients and out-patients; (204232)

(2) with reference to the answer of 25 January 2007, Official Report, column 2045W, on the Pregnancy Book, if he will place in the Library the results of the work which was commissioned to complete the review.

British Paediatric Surveillance Unit data formed the basis of a ‘Prospective Surveillance Study of Severe Byperbilirubinaemia in the Newborn in the UK and Ireland’ (Donal Manning, et al Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2007; 992:342-346). Copies of this study have been placed in the Library.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently developing guidance on the recognition and treatment of neonatal jaundice and recently carried out a consultation on the scope of the guideline. NICE expects to issue the guideline in early 2010.

The UK National Screening Committee will consider action on the report when the scope of the NICE guideline is finalised.