Irradiance Decay in Fluorescent and Light-emitting Diode-based Phototherapy Devices: A Pilot Study

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We set out to determine the rate of decline of irradiance for fluorescent tube (FT) and light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy devices in resource-limited settings where routine irradiance monitoring is uncommon. Irradiance levels (μW/cm2/nm) were measured weekly using BiliBlanket® II Meter on three FT-based and two LED-based phototherapy devices over a 19 week period. The two LED devices showed stable irradiance levels and did not require any lamp changes. The three FT-based devices showed rapid decline in irradiance, and all required three complete lamp exchanges approximately every 5–6 weeks. FT-based devices are associated with more rapid decline in irradiance to sub-therapeutic levels and require more frequent lamp changes than LED devices. Clinicians should be alert to the maintenance requirements of the phototherapy devices available in their settings to ensure efficacy of treatment.

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