Phototherapy: the hospital as risk factor.


In a retrospective study over six years the incidence of phototherapy was examined in two groups of healthy neonates who were born spontaneously and at term in hospital. They were comparable in all respects except that one group was cared for at home and the other group was cared for in hospital. It appeared that the infants in hospital received phototherapy seven times more often than those at home, and surveillance at home was not inferior to that in hospital. There is no reason to assume that neonatal jaundice occurred more often in neonates in hospital than in those at home. Thus the difference in the frequency of treatment with phototherapy between the two groups is ascribed to the influence of the hospital environment, which may encourage intervention.

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