Table 1 Reports of 150 cases of kernicterus in the US literature (1953–2001)

From: Kernicterus in the 21st century: frequently asked questions

Years of reports Cases reported Average cases/year Prevalent health care practices for management of jaundice
1953–1962 15 1.5 Use of exchange transfusion for TSB levels 20 mg per 100 ml
1963–1972 17 1.7 Phototherapy introduced
1973–1982    
(Index decade) 1 0.1 Phototherapy use becomes a clinical standard of care to prevent progression of TSB from 15 to 20 mg per 100 ml so as to prevent the need for an exchange transfusion
1983–1985 5 1.7 Vigintiphobia questioned
1986–1988 15 5 Evidence for bilirubin toxicity sought in reports of kernicterus in healthy babies
1989–1991 18 6 Kinder, gentler approach recommended
1992–1994 29 10 AAP Practice Guidelines in development
1995–1997 32 11 Ongoing implementation and distribution of AAP Practice Guideline (based on visual recognition of jaundice)
1998–2001 28 7 Increasing awareness of the re-emergence of kernicterus in the United States
  1. Abbreviation: TSB, total serum bilirubin.