Kernicterus as a Never Events: A Hospital System Approach and the Role of the Childbirth Educator

Rodriguez, Mitch; Backus, Annette; Watson, Carmen; Mannel, Rebecca; Frye, Donna
March 2006
International Journal of Childbirth Education;Mar2006, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p4
Academic Journal
This article outlines the multidisciplinary approach taken by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) clinicians, as part of the Perinatal Safety Initiative, in order to make kernicterus a ‘never event.’ Physicians, nurses, lactation consultants, and administrators — based upon recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics — implemented a hospital based program including five components. The strategies to manage hyperbilirubinemia and prevent kernicterus include: 1.) universal screening for hyperbilirubinemia with the value plotted on a nomogram; 2.) education for families and health care team members; 3.) lactation education for health care team members, and lactation education and support for families; 4.) equipment to assess and treat hyperbilirubinemia; and 5.) early newborn discharge follow-up.


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