What is Neonatal Juandice?

It is is a common, temporary, and usually harmless condition in newborn infants. It affects both full-term and premature babies, usually appearing during the first week of the baby’s life.

Jaundice occurs when there is a build-up of a naturally occurring substance in the blood called bilirubin. Bilirubin is an orange/red pigment in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. It is normal for everyone to have low levels of bilirubin in their blood. As bilirubin begins to build up, it deposits on the fatty tissue under the skin causing the baby’s skin and whites of the baby’s eyes to appear yellow.

 

What is Phototherapy?

Phototherapy (light treatment) is the process of using light to eliminate bilirubin in the blood. Your baby’s skin and blood absorb these light waves. These light waves are absorbed by your baby’s skin and blood and change bilirubin into products, which can pass through their system.

For over 30 years, phototherapy treatment in the hospital has been provided by a row of lights or a spotlight suspended at a distance form a baby. This would provide light shining directly on an undressed baby (with diaper on) whose eyes would need protection from the light with soft eye patches applied. Today, advancements in echnology have led to a new phototherapy system which gives effective treatment without the inconveniences of conventional phototherapy treatment.

 

Are there Side Effects of Using Phototherapy?

Babies under any type of phototherapy treatment will have frequent and loose bowel movements that are usually dark in color. This is normal since this is the way the body removes the bilirubin. This will be temporary and should stop when treatment is completed. Contact your doctor if it persists after treatment is completed.

 

Why is my baby’s skin ‘bleached, light or reddened’ where the phototherapy light has been in contact with the skin?

The skin in direct contact with the pad is the first area where bilirubin is broken down. This breakdown process is not harmful; in fact, it contributes to the treatment of your baby and causes this portion of skin to turn to its normal color. As the treatment process continues, bilirubin is removed from the blood and the rest of the skin. As the bilirubin is lowered to acceptable levels, all of you baby’s skin will return to its normal color.

 

How long will the billibed be used on my baby?

The length of time phototherapy treatment is needed varies from one baby to the next as each baby’s condition is different. Your health care provider will prescribe the amount of time your baby will be on the biliblanket each day.

Most babies have phototherapy treatment for several days. Your baby’s bilirubin level will be tested during treatment, usually by a small sample of blood taken from the baby’s heel. These tests will determine when normal levels of bilirubin are reached and phototherapy is no longer needed.

 

Will BILLIROBYN consult me at home?

Yes, our medical staff will assist in bloodtests and do consultations in the comfort of your home if you live within the Pretoria, Johannesburg, Hartebeespoortdam, Brits, West Rand and East Rand region.

 

Does my medical aid cover this service?

BILLIROBYN claims directly from certain medical aid and hospital plans.