G6PD deficiency leading to neonatal hyperbilirubinemia is not an uncommon disorder in India. However it is highly under diagnosed and poorly reported.
Method: In this retrospective study, data of 108 neonates treated for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and also screened for G6PD deficiency in the neonatal unit of MGM Medical College, Kishanganj, Bihar and Medica North Bengal Clinic, Siliguri, West Bengal during the period January 2016 to December 2016 were analysed and taken up for the study.
Out of 108 neonates who were screened for G6PD deficiency, 11.1 1% were found to be deficient with a male predominance. Bilirubin encephalopathy was seen in 6 babies. ABO incompatibility was the most common cause of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.
Conclusion: Screening for G6PD deficiency routinely in all cases of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia or at least in cases where more common causes are ruled out could go a long way in preventing lifelong consequences of bilirubin toxicity and reducing the burden of handicapped children to the parents and the society at large.