The efficacy of ‘standard’ daylight phototherapy and ‘high intensity’ blue light phototherapy for neonatal jaundice from ABO-HD, or of a non-haemolytic nature was evaluated. Altogether 77 full-term infants with ABO-HD and 3,020 with non-haemolytic jaundice were studied. Both groups of infants responded well to standard daylight phototherapy; the response in non-haemolytic hyperbilirubinaemia was significantly greater. High intensity blue light phototherapy was significantly more effective in reducing bilirubin levels than standard daylight phototherapy in both groups of infants with no failure being encountered. Four infants with non-haemolytic jaundice did not respond adequately to white light (1.4/1,000); they needed high intensity blue light for adequate response. Bilirubin rebound was mild. Four infants in the blue light group needed a second exposure (28.3/1,000) compared with 20 in the white light group (6.9/1,000), a difference that was significant. Standard white light phototherapy is usually adequate for ABO-HD as well as non-haemolytic hyperbilirubinaemia. High intensity blue light would be preferable where a more rapid and greater response is desirable.

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