Carolinas HealthCare System

Health Information - SpecialTopic

Search Health Information   
 

Bili lights

Definition

Bili lights is a type of light therapy (phototherapy) that is used to treat newborn jaundice . Jaundice is a yellow coloring of the skin and eyes caused by too much of a substance called bilirubin. Bilirubin is a yellow substance that is created when the body replaces old red blood cells with new ones.

Alternative Names

Phototherapy for jaundice

Information

Phototherapy involves shining fluorescent light on bare skin. A specific wavelength of light can break down bilirubin into a form that the body can get rid of through the urine and stools. The light looks blue.

  • The newborn  is placed under the lights without clothes or just wearing a diaper.
  • The eyes are covered to protect them from the bright light.
  • The baby is turned frequently.

The health care team carefully notes the infant's temperature, vital signs, and responses to the light. They also note how long the treatment lasted and the position of the light bulbs.

The baby may become dehydrated from the lights. Fluids may be given through a vein during treatment. 

Blood tests are done to 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 things:

  • 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 done instead. Whn the bilirubin level is very high, an exchange transfusion may be the best option.


Review Date: 11/7/2011
Reviewed 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- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
 
About Carolinas HealthCare System
Who We Are
Leadership
Community Benefit
Corporate Financial Information
Diversity and Inclusion
Annual Report
Foundation
Patient Links
Pay Your Bill
Hospital Pre-Registration
Patient Rights
Privacy Policy
Financial Assistance
Quality & Value Reports
Insurance
Careers
Join Carolinas HealthCare System
Physician Careers

For Employees
Carolinas Connect
Connect with Us
Watch Carolinas HealthCare on YoutubeFollow Carolinas HealthCare on TwitterLike Carolinas HealthCare on FacebookContact Carolinas HealthCareJoin Carolinas HealthCare on LinkedInGo to our mobile website.