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biliblanket therapy

What is Biliblanket Therapy?

BiliBlanket therapy is used to treat neonatal jaundice. In order to completely understand what biliblanket therapy is used for, it is important to be aware of what causes a need for it.  When a baby is born, there is a chance he or she will develop hyperbilirubinemia, the scientific term for neonatal jaundice.  When this occurs, there are excessive amounts of bilirubin in the blood.

What is Bilirubin?

Bilirubin is a normal product of the breakdown of red blood cells and this actually occurs in 60 percent of full-term babies and 80 percent of premature babies. Jaundice happens when bilirubin builds up faster than a baby’s ability to eliminate it from the body.  Most of the time this type of jaundice in babies is relieved without any intervention or minimal need for therapy.  However, jaundice can lead to other health conditions in newborns, such as hypoxia (lack of oxygen), thyroid insufficiency, certain enzyme deficiencies, and infection.

So, what do you do when your baby develops neonatal jaundice?

Phototherapy at Home

Because this is something that happens very soon after birth if at all, it is common procedure for a newborn to have a blood test. Sometimes regular breastfeeding and sunlight can effectively treat higher than normal bilirubin levels. If the levels start to creep too high, the pediatrician will prescribe phototherapy.

The biliblanket itself is a portable type phototherapy (light therapy) device that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to treat neonatal jaundice.  The biliblanket consists of a fiber optic band that is placed against the baby’s torso that emits a blue or white light that eliminates the bilirubin from the blood. Once the bilirubin levels become normal, they usually do not elevate again.

This form of therapy can certainly be done in a hospital, but more recently, home biliblanket therapy has become more popular. Phototherapy at home is on the rise because is more cost efficient than the treatment in a hospital. At home biliblankets are also more comfortable for babies and parents. It can be used when the baby is sleeping, being held, or even while nursing.  Your doctor will instruct you how many hours per day to use the treatment and will also inform you of how long the treatment will last. The FDA gives some helpful tips of how to maximize the treatment.

It is so important to be prepared and educated when you are bringing home a new baby.  So if your new addition does need in home phototherapy, please have your doctor contact Aeroflow Healthcare! You can also fill out our online form to see if you qualify through insurance. If you have an immediate question, please call us at 888-345-1780.

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