Complications of Phototherapy
i) Insensible water loss: There is increased insensible water loss in infants undergoing phototherapy.
ii) Gastrointestinal effects: Phototherapy is associated with watery diarrhoea and increased faecal water loss. The diarrhoea may be caused by increased bile salts and unconjugated billirubin in the bowel due to decreased out transit time.
iii) Decrease in serum calcium level in preterm infants have been described with phototherapy.
iv) Retinal Damage: It has been described in animals whose eyes have been exposed to phototherapy.
v) Skin: Exposure to wavelengths in the 360-400 mm range may cause erythema and increased skin blood flow.
vi) Bronze Baby Syndrome: Phototherapy should not be used in infants with liver disease or obstructive jaundice. These infants might develop the bronze baby syndrome.
vii) Cell damage: It effects in tissue culture cells exposed to phototherapy have been seen. These include mutation, sister chromated exchange and DNA strand breaks. Hence, it may be wise to shield the scrotum during phototherapy.
viii) Phototherapy upsets the usual maternal infant interaction and should be used judiciously.