Cause of Device-Related Incident
*Not stated

Clinical Specialty or Hospital Department
CCU / ICU / NICU; Nursery

Device Factors
*Not stated

Document Type

External Factors
*Not stated

Mechanism of Injury or Death
Burn (electrical, thermal, chemical)

Support System Failures
*Not stated

Tampering and/or Sabotage
*Not stated

User Errors
*Not stated

Phototherapy Bililights for the Jaundiced Infant


  • Always cover the infant's eyes before activating the phototherapy unit.
  • Use the lowest level of light necessary for effective therapy; more irradiance is not always better. Standardize use of one level of irradiance (at least 4 µW/cm2/nm), and modify only when indicated.
  • Measure the irradiance level daily with a radiometer.
  • Remember that radiometer readings should be used only as a standard for comparison (from day to day or when bulbs are changed). The absolute value given is probably not accurate.
  • Document bulb type, irradiance levels, changes in the infant's condition, and serum bilirubin levels to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy.
  • Check the infant often; blue light may mask clinical symptoms (e.g., cyanosis).
  • Shut off phototherapy lamps when drawing blood samples for serum bilirubin. The light can degrade the bilirubin in the sample and cause inaccurate measurements.
  • Be aware that extra fluid replacement may be required to compensate for increased insensible water loss during phototherapy.
  • Always be sure the clear plastic cover is in place on units that use fluorescent lamps; it filters harmful ultraviolet light.
  • Remember that frequent bumps and activations shorten bulb life.

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