A phototherapy service to help babies who are suffering from jaundice is now available for parents to use at home in the form of a Bilicocoon, thanks to staff at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP).
Parents whose babies are suffering from jaundice can now benefit from treating their baby at home with the help of a new service provided by the Neonatal Outreach team at Derriford. The service became available in early September, thanks to the efforts of Sarah Underwood, Senior Sister for Neonatal Outreach and Transitional Care Services, Rowena Gruitt, Neonatal Outreach Sister, the Neonatal Outreach team and the wider Neonatal Multidisciplinary team.
Speaking about the service Sarah said: “Being able to treat babies at home is extremely beneficial for parents both emotionally and financially, as it means parents are able to spend more time caring for their babies and bonding with them, without the additional stress and financial pressure of having to stay in the hospital”.
The treatment also greatly benefits the babies, Sarah continued: “Babies who are cared for by their parents often have better outcomes. The Bilicocoon empowers parents to take ownership of their babies’ care, and it also allows mothers to breastfeed freely, which is not always possible during hospital treatment when the babies are under blue light lamps”.
The service also benefits the hospital, as UHP cares for many babies from across the region in their NICU department. Jaundice is common in babies, and it often results in high numbers of readmissions for phototherapy treatment, which in turn impacts patient flow throughout the hospital. The trust currently has four Bilicocoons and having this service means that there are more beds available for babies who need hospital-based treatment.
To learn more about newborn jaundice and phototherapy treatment, you can visit the NHS website.