Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Bili lights

Definition

Bili lights refer to a type of phototherapy that is used to treat newborn jaundice, a yellow coloring of the skin and eyes related to immature liver function.

Alternative Names

Phototherapy for jaundice

Information

Phototherapy is performed on infants who have increased levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that's created in the body during the normal recycling of old red blood cells.

Phototherapy involves the exposure of bare skin to fluorescent light. The newborn (without clothes or in a small diaper) is placed under the fluorescent lights. The eyes are covered to protect them from the bright light. The blue fluorescent "bili" lamps give off specific wavelengths of light that help break down bilirubin into different forms that can leave the body through the urine and stools.

The health care team carefully notes the infant's body temperature, vital signs, length of treatment, positioning of the bulbs, and the newborn's responses. The infant is turned frequently so that the therapy is most effective.

Because dehydration may result from being under the lights, fluids may need to be given through a vein. Blood tests are done to regularly check the bilirubin level. When the levels have dropped enough, phototherapy is complete.

Some infants receive phototherapy at home. In this case, a nurse visits daily and draws a sample of blood for testing.

Treatment depends on three factors:

  • Birth weight
  • Concentration of bilirubin in the blood
  • Newborn's age (in hours)

In severe cases of increased bilirubin in a low birthweight newborn that is younger than 24 hours old, an exchange transfusion may be preferred over phototherapy. With very high bilirubin concentrations, regardless of age and weight, an exchange transfusion may be the best option.

References

View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care PointsRead More

Review Date: 11/2/2009

Review By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

www.adam.com
www.mercyweb.org
follow us online
facebook youtube


Contact us
Home  |  Sitemap

Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011