Phototherapy is a therapeutic measure used in specialties of medicine such as pediatrics and neonatology to treat neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. It is a technique based on the use of electromagnetic radiation (light) to decrease the values of bilirubin in blood, using the properties of light. The light rays emitted by phototherapy lamps result in the transformation of bilirubin into water-soluble photoisomers which are then more easily excreted in feces and urine, without the need to conjugate in the liver, thus decreasing blood bilirubin values.
This technique is based on the ability of light to act at the skin level on bilirubin. This results in the light being captured by the skin, which achieves a photochemical excitation phase where the transformation of bilirubin into other non-toxic (water-soluble) products occurs, which makes them more easily excreted. Phototherapy is the treatment of choice for newborns with unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia; early initiation of this therapy decreases the probability of resorting to exchange transfusion, a more aggressive technique that can cause major complications.
Modalities of Phototherapy
In phototherapy, phototherapy units are generally used, consisting of 4 tubes of blue light and 2 tubes of white light. The blue ones are placed in the center and the white ones on the sides. These phototherapy lamps are fluorescent light bulbs and LEDs, and today there are several types of phototherapy such as: the white light, which is used everywhere, in the radiant cradle, in the case of premature babies; blue light; and fiber optic or bile-white, in which you can have the child dressed during phototherapy and phototherapy at home. There are also new phototherapies, of high intensity, that are double phototherapies and have shown greater benefits.
Phototherapy allows to approach and treat neonatal jaundice in an innocuous, simple, safe and with good results in babies, being a key technique in the treatment of hyperbilirubinemia in newborns, pathology that can have irreversible consequences, if not treated in time, since it affects the nervous system, producing irreversible sequelae in the child.
Types of phototherapies in babies
Radiation using phototherapy is done by using a light bulb, special blue fluorescent lamps or LED systems can be used. Depending on the maximum wavelength produced by light there are different types of phototherapy:
- Simple, standard or conventional phototherapy: which uses 8-10 µW/cm2/nm radiation, are lamps with fluorescent tubes, two white and four blue.
- Dual or intensive phototherapy: which uses radiation > 30 µW/cm2/nm, through lamps with six blue tubes.
There are also two different types of phototherapy depending on the hours of exposure to light:
- Intermittent phototherapy: It is characterized by cycles of exposure to light and rest cycles. It usually consists of 12 hours of exposure and 12 hours of rest. Only simple or conventional phototherapy can be applied intermittently.
- Continuous phototherapy: in this type of phototherapy exposure to light is performed 24 hours a day pausing it only in the essential moments such as feeding or diaper changes.
How does phototherapy work in babies?
The effectiveness of phototherapy depends on the irradiation (energy) of the light source. Irradiation is expressed in units of watts per square centimeter or in microwatts per square centimeter per nanometer within a given wavelength band.
At 20 cm above the newborn, conventional or standard light phototherapy units should provide a spectral irradiation (measured at the neonate level) of 8 to 10 µW per square centimeter per nanometer in the range of 430 to 490 nm, while special blue fluorescent lamps provide 30 to 40 µW per square centimeter per nanometer.
What does Kalstein offer you?
Kalsteinis a company MANUFACTURER of medical and laboratory equipment of the highest quality and the best technology at the best PRICES in the market, so you can make your PURCHASE with us, knowing that you have the service and advice of a company specialized in the field and committed to provide you with safe, economical and effective options for the performance of your functions in the right way. This time we present our Child bilirubin phototherapy unit YR02195. This equipment has the following characteristics:
- This model has 4 suction cup legs to be fixed in an incubator.
- LED as radiant elements of phototherapy
- Fan-less design for quiet atmosphere
- Large area light source for better curing
- It can be used with most other types of baby incubators.
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