New app launched to help treat babies with neonatal jaundice

Helping practitioners choose the safest management for a baby with neonatal jaundice is the aim behind a new app launched today by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

The app enables users to input the time and date of a baby’s birth, together with the time and date of the bilirubin test, a blood test to measure levels of bile pigment in blood serum, to calculate the baby’s age in hours. The app then uses this information in combination with the bilirubin levels to work out the safest management option based on the NICE guideline on neonatal jaundice. This can be done in less than a minute and the app has a direct link to the source guidelines.

Jaundice is one of the most common conditions needing medical attention in newborn babies. Jaundice refers to yellow colouration of the skin and the sclerae and is caused by a raised level of bilirubin in the circulation, a condition known as hyperbilirubinaemia.

Management options can be to repeat bilirubin measurement in 6–12 hours, consider phototherapy and repeat bilirubin measurement in 6 hours, start phototherapy and perform an exchange transfusion unless the bilirubin level falls below the threshold while the treatment is being prepared.

The BiliChecker app has been developed by the RCOG in collaboration with the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (NCC-WCH) and will appeal to midwives, nurses, neonatologists, paediatricians, GPs and RCOG members.

Dr Janet Rennie, Consultant Neonatologist, University College London Hospitals and Chair of the Neonatal Jaundice Guideline Development Group, says:

"The BiliChecker app facilitates the rapid calculation of a baby's age in hours, which is necessary for the interpretation of bilirubin levels. The app also helps the user to choose the right plan for an individual baby, based on the bilirubin action lines proposed by NICE."

Dr Stephen Murphy, Clinical Co-Director (Child Health) at the National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health, adds:

“The BiliChecker app provides health care professionals with an extremely useful decision tool based on the recommendations of the NICE clinical guideline on neonatal jaundice. It should be of great practical value and assist with implementation of the guideline."

The app will be available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch from Friday 15 February, priced at 69p. To download, please click here.

Ends

For more information about the app please contact bilichecker@rcog.org.uk. For media enquiries or if you would like a trial of the app please contact Naomi Weston on 020 7772 6357 or nweston@rcog.org.uk

The NICE guideline on neonatal jaundice can be found here.

Date published: 15/02/2013
Published by: Naomi Weston

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