All seems infected that th' infected spy,
As all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.
An Essay on Criticism, 1711
We take note of Alexander Pope's admonition, and we are reminded by others that, from their perspective, the evidence is unconvincing that moderate neonatal hyperbilirubinemia adversely affects the neurodevelopmental outcome of healthy, term infants. Moreover, although there is ample evidence that high levels of bilirubin may be associated with neurologic injury, a linear relationship between neonatal serum bilirubin levels and long-term neurodevelopmental impairment does not seem to exist.1 Such observations have been recognized for some time2,3 and have encouraged some of our colleagues to propose new guidelines for the treatment of jaundice in well, term infants.4,5
- Received December 16, 1991.
- Accepted December 16, 1991.
- Copyright © 1992 by the American Academy of Pediatrics