Blanket Helps the Littlest Patients

The OB staff shows off the bilirubin blanket, used to help babies with jaundice. From left, OB Tech Tabitha Gutierrez, RN Alyssia Martinez, RN Anna Montoya and RN Harli Montejano.

The San Luis Valley Health Foundation’s recent purchase of a bilirubin blanket helped a mother and her baby with great success.

“I am so excited we were able to do this,” said Kelly Gurule, director of the SLV Health Foundation. “This is a great help for our littlest patients and a wonderful way to welcome them into this world.”

Last year, the foundation board approved the purchase of the blanket, also called a biliblanket. The portable blanket emits a blue/white light of varying intensity. A baby who is jaundiced can be placed on the blanket, and the light is used to break up the bilirubin in the baby’s bloodstream, reducing the yellowing effect that jaundice creates.

After the blanket arrived, staff was trained on its use. In early January, it was put to use with a new mother and her infant.

“I had a mother who had just delivered and her baby was jaundiced,” explained Dr. Amy Robertson, a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, who reached out to Ms. Gurule and the Foundation Board with her heartfelt thanks. “Because of the bilirubin blanket, this mother can do everything she needs to do and help him with his jaundice concurrently. This is amazing for her bonding with this baby.”

For more information or to make an appointment with our Women’s Health Center, please call 719-589-8028. Information about women’s health services can also be found by visiting www.sanluisvalleyhealth.org.