Best answer: Is phototherapy safe for newborns?

If your baby’s bilirubin level is high, the most commonly used treatment is phototherapy (bright light therapy). It does not contain rays that would harm your baby. Phototherapy is very safe and effective and is only available in hospital. The treatment works best when as much skin as possible is exposed to the light.

Is phototherapy dangerous for newborns?

Generally, phototherapy is very safe and may have no serious long-term effects in neonates; however, the following adverse effects and complications have been noted: Insensible water loss may occur, but data suggest that this issue is not as important as previously believed.

What are the risks of phototherapy?

The short-term side effects of phototherapy include interference with maternal-infant interaction, imbalance of thermal environment and water loss, electrolyte disturbance, bronze baby syndrome and circadian rhythm disorder.

Can phototherapy cause blindness in newborns?

In adults, prolonged exposure to blue light can cause retinal damage. Although retinal damage from phototherapy has not been reported, eye covers for newborns are standard prophylaxis.

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How long can a baby stay under phototherapy?

Babies usually need to be under phototherapy lights for around 48 hours and often longer. How long will the jaundice last? Physiological jaundice normally clears by the time your baby is two weeks old. However, sometimes it lasts longer and further investigations may be needed to rule out other causes of jaundice.

Can phototherapy cause brain damage?

This is usually given in the hospital. In very mild cases, you may treat your baby at home using lights the doctor gives you. Do not be alarmed if your baby has to have phototherapy; it does not mean that he or she is in danger of having brain damage.

Can phototherapy burn baby skin?

Visible light phototherapy is an easily administered and effective treatment for neonatal indirect hyperbilirubinemia. Reported cutaneous side effects include transient rashes and the uncommon bronze baby syndrome. A more hazardous side effect is ultraviolet burn.

Does jaundice come back after phototherapy?

It is not unusual for babies to still appear jaundiced for a period of time after phototherapy is completed. Bilirubin levels may rise again 18 to 24 hours after stopping phototherapy. Although rare, this requires follow-up for those who may need more treatment.

What is the reason for phototherapy for jaundice in newborns?

Phototherapy. Phototherapy is treatment with a special type of light (not sunlight). It’s sometimes used to treat newborn jaundice by lowering the bilirubin levels in your baby’s blood through a process called photo-oxidation. Photo-oxidation adds oxygen to the bilirubin so it dissolves easily in water.

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How fast can bilirubin levels drop in newborns?

This helps to get rid of bilirubin. Jaundice usually clears up within 2 weeks in formula-fed babies. It may last for more than 2 to 3 weeks in breastfed babies. If your baby’s jaundice lasts more than 3 weeks, talk to his health care provider.

How fast does phototherapy work for jaundice?

The lights shine on the baby’s skin and change the bilirubin. It can then pass out of the body through the urine and stool. Your baby will need to be under the light for about 1 to 2 days.

How can I naturally cure my baby’s jaundice?

The following steps may lessen jaundice: More-frequent feedings. Feeding more frequently will provide your baby with more milk and cause more bowel movements, increasing the amount of bilirubin eliminated in your baby’s stool. Breast-fed infants should have eight to 12 feedings a day for the first several days of life.

Does sunlight help jaundice?

Sunlight has been shown to break down the bilirubin most effectively; in fact, one hour of sunlight equals 6 hours under the special bilirubin lights at the hospital. To sunbathe the baby, put him in a bassinet or on a blanket near a window with sun or indirect light (even on a cloudy day).

What is the cost of phototherapy?

Most data shows that phototherapy typically costs a few thousand dollars a year. Medicaid and Medicare — as well as many private insurance policies —often cover in-office treatment. At-home treatments are less likely to be covered by insurance. A standard at-home NB-UVB unit costs $2,600 on average.

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Do jaundice babies sleep more?

Some babies sleep too much because they have jaundice. A newborn who has jaundice will have a yellow color to their skin and a yellow cast to the whites of their eyes. Other symptoms of more severe jaundice include being lethargic, having difficulty eating, and being fussy or irritable.

How do you prevent jaundice in newborns?

How can I prevent jaundice? Feeding (especially breastfeeding) your baby frequently in the first hours and days after his birth helps reduce the risk of jaundice. Feeding often will make your baby pass more stool. The milk also gives your baby’s liver the energy it needs to process the bilirubin.