About Newborn Jaundice (Hyperbilirubinemia)
The buildup of bilirubin in the blood is called hyperbilirubinemia, or newborn jaundice. Because bilirubin has a pigment, or coloring, it causes a yellowing of the baby’s skin and tissues. Fortunately, detecting hyperbilirubinemia is fairly easy, and can be confirmed with a simple blood test. It can then be treated with phototherapy.
Phototherapy was discovered by chance when a nurse in a hospital nursery noticed that the infants placed closer to the windows were less “yellow” than those who were not. This observation led to the application of phototherapy in the treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia (newborn jaundice).
What to Expect
Once a physician determines the need for phototherapy, the nurses at Cincinnati Children’s Home Care can treat hyperbilirubinemia in the comfort of your own home. The normal course for phototherapy is usually less than one week.
You will be using a portable phototherapy device known as a biliblanket. It is a halogen light source directed into a fiber optic blanket, which delivers the necessary wavelengths of light to your baby safely and efficiently. The “blanket” allows you and your baby to bond more easily than receiving treatment in the hospital setting.
Our pediatric nurse specialist will make daily visits to assess your baby’s progress. The nurse will complete a newborn assessment, take blood samples to measure bilirubin levels and monitor the safe and effective use of the biliblanket. The nurse will also record the baby’s temperature, stool and urine; it is important for your baby to have adequate nutrition and hydration.
For more information about Home Health Care Phototherapy Services contact Home Care Services via phone at 513-636-HOME (4663), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.