What is Biliblanket Phototherapy ?
If a baby is born with jaundice, he/she will quickly be introduced to the healing power of phototherapy through using biliblanket.
The use of a biliblanket for jaundice when a newborn infant has elevated bilirubin levels is easy, at-home treatment. You can even hold, feed, and play with your child while using a bilirubin blanket.
What is a Biliblanket?
A biliblanket is a portable phototherapy device used to treat neonatal jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia).The name “biliblanket” combines the words bilirubin and blanket. The baby is placed in direct contact with the pad.This device is also known as a home phototherapy system, bilirubin blanket, or bidirectional fiber-optic phototherapy blanket.
Components of a Biliblanket
The biliblanket system consists of three components: an illuminator, fiberoptic pad, and disposable pad cover. The fiberoptic pad is used to transport blue or white light from the light source, the illuminator, directly onto the baby’s skin.
How to use a Billiblanket?
The biliblanket setup consists of the light generator; termed the light box, the fibre-optic cable through which the light is carried; and the fiberoptic pad; which is a 25cmx13cm (10″x5″) pad that is attached to the baby. The light generator stores the source of light, which is a halogen bulb. The fiber-optic cable connects the light generator to the fiberoptic pad, which contains fiberoptic fibers and usually has a disposable cover.
It is important to make sure that the light-source machine is placed on a flat, level, hard surface such as a table or nightstand to ensure proper ventilation. A disposable cover is placed onto the light pad and should be changed if the cover becomes soiled.
For effective therapy, the baby’s skin should be directly exposed to the light pad as much as possible. The light pad should be on at all times except during baths. The light pad is usually placed on the undressed baby’s back with a diaper on. Clothing may be worn, but the clothing should be placed over the light pad, and the light pad should still be in direct contact with the baby’s skin. The light pad should never be placed on the baby’s head. The baby can sleep, eat, or be held while the light pad is on.
The biliblanket is safe and can be used for 24 hours a day as long as therapy is required. However, the duration of phototherapy will vary from individual to individual based on the baby’s current condition and disease state. It will also depend on the physician’s clinical judgement.
Blood tests may be required daily during phototherapy to assess the bilirubin levels and determine if normal levels have been reached and whether or not phototherapy can be stopped. Once the bilirubin levels are normal, the baby’s skin will return to its normal color.
Advantages of Biliblanket
Unlike conventional forms of phototherapy, which require eye protection; the baby does not need to have eye protection when using a biliblanket. Another advantage of the biliblanket is that it can be used at home. In some cases; if the baby’s condition is not too severe; the parents will be given a biliblanket to set up and use at home. This provides a more comfortable and convenient setting since the parents and baby do not have to stay in the hospital. Other advantages of the biliblanket are that it can be easily transported; can be used when the baby is sleeping; eating, and or being held; and promotes a relationship between parents and infants since they do not need to be separated during treatment.
From a review, fibreoptic phototherapy was more effective at lowering serum biliruben than no treatment but less effective than conventional phototherapy. However, a combination of fibreoptic and conventional phototherapy was more effective than conventional phototherapy alone.