A biliblanket is a portable phototherapy device for the treatment of neonatal jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia). BiliBlanket is a trademark of General Electric's Datex-Ohmeda subsidiary, but its name has become the generic, colloquial term for a range of similar products and the term used in the medical professions. The name is a combination of bilirubin and blanket. Other names used are home phototherapy system, bilirubin blanket, or phototherapy blanket.
Biliblankets offer the possibility of treating some degrees of jaundice at home as long as the baby is otherwise healthy. This makes them quite popular with parents, doctors, and insurance companies, who would otherwise have to pay for more expensive inpatient treatment. Some also consider it a better option because the newborn does not have to be separated from the parents and does not need to lie alone in a box with his or her eyes covered. The baby is tied to the machine, unless they can wheel it around, and there is a stiff pad between the mother and baby. While this is an inconvenience, most see it as a lesser of two evils.
The whole setup consists of the light generator, termed the light box, the fibre-optic cable through which the light is carried and the light pad, which is a 25cmx13cm (10"x5") pad that's attached to the baby. Home phototherapy is not dangerous and reports suggesting that babies have been burned by biliblankets have not been proven, and are generally accepted as myths.
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Philips Bilirubin Blanket
Royal Philips Electronics demonstrated a bili blanket on 27 September 2011 at their Innovation Experience in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The blanket is based on LED with a specific wavelength that make the therapy more effective. As opposed to the use of a light generator and optical fibers (see above) this technology makes the bilirubin blanket portable. The blanket is made from soft, flexible textile and illuminates the baby directly. While being treated, the baby can be held by its parent, which is more comforting than the treatment being performed in the hospital environment.
The original line from the early 1990s. Its current incarnation is sturdy and easy to lug about. The baby is attached to the pad using a paper harness, or it is just placed loose under the clothing.
Older Wallabies are pretty heavy and quite noisy. On the other hand, the Wallaby does have a long cable that gives mother or father and baby more freedom of movement. Newer models are comparable to the Ohmeda's newer versions and functionally very much the same. Healthdyne is owned by Respironics, better known for sleep apnea devices.
Olympic Medical Bili-Lite Pad
The Olympic is a meaner-looking device that does pretty much the same job as the above two machines, though it doesn't have a variable light level. Nice light but a more primitive, simple design.
Ibis Medical - IREX Blanket LED Phototherapy
IRex Blanket LED Phototherapy uses flexible LED with increased surface area that uses less power and has a longer life. IREX blanket phototherapy is keeping the AAP guidelines for phototherapy.