Phototherapy is a type of therapy that is performed with the use of special types of light and they do not make use of ultraviolet light. In phototherapy devices, fluorescent lights that are shiny and come from the bili-light lamps, are made use of on the naked skin of newborn babies. A particular type of wavelength of this type of light has the ability to break down any bilirubin present in the body of the newborn and get it to be in a form that the body can then get rid of by the way of stool and urine.
Typically, the light that is used in this type of therapy is blue and it can emit light that is within the spectrum of light in the blue-green Rangel and their wavelengths are normally around 430-490 nm. Normally, this type of therapy is given with the help of lamps called bili-light or in some cases, bili-blanket.
Normally, there are around two main types of this therapy that are prescribed to newborns who have jaundice.
Conventional Phototherapy: When this type of therapy is used, your baby will be kept underneath a halogen or maybe a fluorescent lamp that is compact in nature.
Fiberoptic Phototherapy: In this type of phototherapy, the baby will normally be kept on a blanket that makes use of fiber optic cables. Light is able to travel through these cables and shine on the back of your baby.
As you may have noticed, in both these types of therapy, the skin of the baby is exposed to the light that is emitted from the light therapy device.
In the majority of these cases, the first type of traditional light therapy is generally used. If the baby happens to be born premature, in that case then the fibreoptic variety of this type of therapy can be used. If it so happens that your baby does not respond to either type of light therapy and that their jaundice does not improve, then a continuous schedule of multiple of these therapies will be prescribed. In these sessions, more than one light will be used at the same time and very often there will also be the use of fiber optic blankets at the very same time.
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Phototherapy: What is it?
Phototherapy is a particularly special kind of light treatment that is very often prescribed to newborns who catch or are born with jaundice. Jaundice is a condition in which there is a type of yellowish discoloration of the skin and also the eyes within newborns that happen primarily because of a pigment that is known as bilirubin. This may shock you but there is approximately 60 percent of babies have jaundice upon their arrival into our world, i.e. when they are born. In some cases, the levels of bilirubin in the body present at the time of birth have the ability to cause damage to the brain. There can be several possible causes of this. Some reasons include some types of infection at the time of birth, very low birth weight, or even breast milk. Phototherapy has the ability to make this excess bilirubin pass through the body by making it sort of soluble in water.
What Exactly Happens When You Take Phototherapy?
When phototherapy is being performed, the baby who has jaundice will be made to stay naked under a special type of light. The baby’s eyes will typically be covered in order to protect them from any kind of damage. The baby will also be given supplemental feeding in order to compensate for the extra water that will be lost through the skin.
In both types of phototherapy methods discussed above, the therapy model is stopped for a period of about 30 minutes about every three to about four hours. The baby is then given to its mother for the purposes of breastfeeding, replacing diapers, and also for a bit of cuddling.
The baby will typically be given multiple and continuous sessions of therapy without any breaks. The breastmilk of the mother can be given with the help of a tube connected directly to the stomach of the baby or fluids can also be inserted into their body by using one of the veins of the baby.
The baby will be screened for dehydration several times according to its needs. If there is a need for it, then some fluids of the intravenous variety may be administered to the baby. This will also be done in the case that the baby is not able to drink enough of its mother’s milk.
How long will it take?
The baby will need this type of therapy for at least two days, and in some cases, a bit longer as well. While the baby is undergoing the process of phototherapy, the levels of bilirubin in the body are tested often. After the bilirubin levels have dropped to a low enough level, this form of phototherapy will then be stopped. There will be another check of the levels of bilirubin in the body about 12 hours later in order to make sure that the levels of bilirubin have not gotten too high again.