Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains what causes jaundice in newborns and how to treat it with GE BiliSoft™ LED phototherapy system.
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Michelle: Hi doctors! My name is Michelle and I am eight months pregnant, I have heard about jaundice in newborns before, but I don't know too much about it. How common is it and shall I be concerned? Dr. Jim Sears: Well, we've actually got Michelle here. So, congratulations! Michelle: Thank you! Dr. Jim Sears: You're looking good. Dr. Lisa Masterson: Beautiful! Dr. Jim Sears: Yeah. So, yeah, a lot of moms, new moms want to know what is jaundice, and what that is? It's that yellow color that a lot of newborns get, and why they get that? First off, it's really common about 50% to 70% of new newborns will get. It's caused by something called Bilirubin. And what happens, babies are born with a little more blood that they need so it kind of starts to break down a little bit, and one of the components of red blood cell is called Bilirubin, it just happens to be yellow. Circulates in the system for a few days and then gets flushed out, but that's where you get that yellow color. Usually comes on about day two to four of life. Most of the time newborns get this. It's no big deal, it's just kind of an almost a normal problem, maybe a little extra sunlight helps flush it out, but it's no problem. But, sometimes babies need a little extra help. Especially if they are preemies they may need to something called Phototherapy. And in the old days that usually meant staying in the hospital for a few extra days and maybe even a week in something big incubator, basically it's something that looks like a little mini tanning bed, you can se it right there. And the bomber thing about this was baby --- it's hard to bond with your baby when they are stuck in the incubator. Dr. Lisa Masterson: It's awful as a mom, to be in the hospital without your baby. Dr. Jim Sears: Oh yeah. Right, and that's a big -- Dr. Lisa Masterson: It's just awful. Dr. Jim Sears: Yeah, that's really hard to go home without a baby. Dr. Lisa Masterson: Yeah. Dr. Jim Sears: But something that's come out in the last several years and is continually to be improved is home photo therapy treatment. And this is kind of one of the latest ones, it's called the GE BiliSoft, and what's neat about this it's all fiber-optic. And I am going to turn it on for you. And the nice thing about the fiber-optics, it's very flexible. Some of the older systems were kind of harder pads and kind of were a little awkward, but this one, it's totally flexible, you put your baby on it, hello! This is a really good baby, and then you wrap it up around the baby, and you can pretty much wear this all the time, sleeping, feeding, just walk around, and it's so portable, maybe you can just do this at home. And this is just kind of revolutionized home phototherapy treatment and I think it's just a great thing. Dr. Travis Stork: But only be available in the US and certain countries. Dr. Jim Sears: Certainly yeah, in most countries, but there is a few that it just hasn't got down to yet. One thing you can do, before baby does get jaundice is just good feeding. The more you feed the baby the quicker the Bilirubin will get flushed out, so make sure you get good feeding going early. Michelle: Okay, thank you!
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