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Cocoon allows jaundice babies to be treated at home

Press release – July 5 2022



A special cocoon which bathes babies with jaundice in special light is helping parents care for their new-borns at home.

The Bili-cocoon has been used for the first time in the county by Otis, who was born weighing 6lb 8oz a month early and spent a few days in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Hereford County Hospital.

Otis began showing signs of jaundice a few days after he was born and on the fourth day, when he was due to go home, it reached the point that he needed treatment for jaundice.

“It's so worrying when you are told that your baby needs any medical treatment. He was very poorly and needed extensive medical interventions to help with his breathing,” said Otis’ mum, Emma Jones.

“We felt we had turned a corner and were planning on going home the morning he was diagnosed with jaundice. When they said we could have the treatment at home we were overjoyed. We have a young daughter at home and couldn't wait to be back together as a family,” added Emma, who lives at Kingstone.

She said the Bili-cocoon Otis had was “super easy” to use at home.

“He was really cosy, exactly like a cocoon and looked like a little glow worm. He wasn't in any distress at all. We were still able to have cuddles and continue breastfeeding while he was receiving his treatment too!”

Jaundice is easily treatable and has specific symptoms to look at for including yellowing of the skin and sleepiness. It is caused by a build-up of bilirubin in a baby’s blood. The phototherapy treatment helps the liver break down and remove the bilirubin.

Emma, who works as a nurse in SCBU, added: “Being on the other side as a parent of a sick baby was completely terrifying. The support they gave both to Otis and myself was so incredible. You can tell they truly care about each baby and family. We couldn't have got through our stay without them.

“The neonatal outreach team is a great service and allowed us to get home, back together as a family as quick and safely as possible. The at home phototherapy service is going to be great at keeping other families together and out of hospital.”

Emma’s advice to new mums whose babies develop jaundice is to talk their nurse or midwife if they have any worries. “Don’t forget, you know your baby the best.”

Elaine Evans, SCBU ward manager and the neonatal outreach team, said: “The plan is for babies who develop jaundice in the first couple of weeks following birth to go home with phototherapy and be followed up by our community neonatal outreach team.

“The community midwives will refer babies who appear jaundice. The baby and mother will then come into our postnatal ward for screening and commence phototherapy.

“If, after six hours, the bilirubin levels are coming down, the baby will go home with the Bili-cocoon and the outreach team will go out the following day to repeat the bloods to see if the jaundice levels are continuing to come down below our treatment threshold”.

Pic captions:

Otis looking like a glow worm wrapped up in his Bili-cocoon

Otis with his mum and dad, Emma and Ben, and sister Daisy.


Notes to Editors WVT:

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £295 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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