23 May: Karcher Bill Requiring Reporting Of Hyperbilirubinemia Approved

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would add severe hyperbilirubinemia, a leading cause of neonatal jaundice, to the list of conditions reported to the birth defects registry under the Department of Health and Senior Services was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today by a vote of 6-0.

“Neonatal jaundice caused by hyperbilirubinemia isn’t necessarily uncommon, but severe cases, if left untreated, can have drastic impact on a child’s developmental health and well-being,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, the Vice Chair of the Senate Health Committee. “New Jersey needs to monitor trends in this disease to gain a better understanding about the factors which may increase or decrease a child’s chances of being affected. Through surveys and epidemiological research on birth defects, we may hopefully be able to put expectant mothers on the right path to avoid disability for their children.”