What is a Phototherapy Unit?A phototherapy unit is a medical device used to treat jaundice in newborns. Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and eyes to turn yellow. It is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a waste product that is produced when red blood cells break down. Phototherapy units are typically used in the hospital nursery. The baby is placed under the light for a set amount of time each day. The amount of time that the baby needs to be under the light will vary depending on the severity of the jaundice. Phototherapy is a safe and effective treatment for jaundice. It is usually very well tolerated by babies.
Features of a Phototherapy Unit
- A phototherapy unit typically consists of a light source, a control panel, and a mattress or bassinet for the baby to lie on.
- The light source is usually a bank of fluorescent lamps that emit blue light. The light is filtered to remove ultraviolet rays, which can be harmful to babies.
- The control panel allows the nurse or parent to adjust the intensity of the light and the length of time that the baby is exposed to the light.
- The mattress or bassinet is designed to keep the baby comfortable and safe while they are under the light.
Benefits of PhototherapyPhototherapy is a safe and effective treatment for jaundice. It is usually very well tolerated by babies. The benefits of phototherapy include:
- It can quickly reduce bilirubin levels.
- It is a non-invasive treatment.
- It is usually covered by insurance.