Objective: To determine whether the addition of low-cost reflecting curtains to a standard phototherapy unit could increase effectiveness of phototherapy for neonatal jaundice.
Design: Randomised controlled clinical trial.
Setting: Level-one nursery of the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malayasia.
Patients: Term newborns with uncomplicated neonatal jaundice presenting in the first week of life.
Interventions: Phototherapy with white curtains hanging from the sides of the phototherapy unit (study group, n = 50) was compared with single phototherapy without curtains (control group, n = 47).
Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was the mean difference in total serum bilirubin measured at baseline and after 4 h of phototherapy. The secondary outcome was the duration of phototherapy.
Results: The mean (standard deviation) decrease in total serum bilirubin levels after 4 h of phototherapy was significantly (p<0.001) higher in the study group (27.62 (25.24) μmol/l) than in the control group (4.04 (24.27) μmol/l). Cox proportional hazards regression analysis indicated that the median duration of phototherapy was significantly shorter in the study group (12 h) than in the control group (34 h; χ2 change 45.2; p<0.001; hazards ratio 0.20; 95% confidence interval 0.12 to 0.32). No difference in adverse events was noted in terms of hyperthermia or hypothermia, weight loss, rash, loose stools or feeding intolerance.
Conclusion: Hanging white curtains around phototherapy units significantly increases efficacy of phototherapy in the treatment of neonatal jaundice without evidence of increased adverse effects.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Published Online First 28 July 2006
Competing interests: None.