Top jaundice experts present latest treatment information during live Web cast from Pittsburgh

Early detection and prompt treatment of neonatal jaundice, also known as hyperbilirubinemia, can prevent this common newborn disorder from posing a threat of brain damage.

Neonatal jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by elevated bilirubin levels in the blood. It affects 60 percent of full-term infants and 80 percent of preterm infants in the first several days after birth. Extremely high levels can lead to bilirubin-induced brain damage, a condition known as kernicterus.

Two of the world's leading experts on this condition will present the latest information on the causes, treatment, outcomes and prevention of severe neonatal hyperbilirubnemia during a continuing medical education event at 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006, at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. The event also will be available via live Web cast on Children's Web site, www.chp.edu.

This will include a presentation by Jon F. Watchko, MD, a neonatologist in the Division of Newborn Medicine at Children's and Magee-Womens Hospital, and M. Jeffrey Maisels, MBBCh, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.

Following their presentation, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Gary A. Silverman, MD, PhD, Chief of the Divison of Newborn Medicine at Children's and Magee-Womens Hospital. Also participating in the panel discussion will be John LaBella, MD, a pediatrician with Children's Community Pediatrics – Bass Wolfson. The panel will take questions from the live audience as well as the Web audience.

Dr. Watchko also is Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His research into hyperbilirubinemic encephalopathy is focused on the role P-glycoprotein plays in limiting bilirubin passage across the blood-brain barrier.

Dr. Maisels served as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Sub-Committee on Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia and was responsible for drafting the 2004 AAP guidelines on management of hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn. His publications on this topic extend over 30 years. He is the author or coauthor of more than 190 research publications and chapters in books, most of which deal with the subject of bilirubin metabolism and jaundice in the newborn infant.

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Editor's Note: Registration for the live Web cast, and the post-event archived session, is available through Children's at http://www.or-live.com/cpi/1555/.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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