November 1975

Airway Obstruction by Displaced Eye Mask During Phototherapy

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Medical Center 50 Baldwin Ave Jersey City, NJ 07304

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(11):1362. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120480072021

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A number of real and potential hazards and complications that are directly related to phototherapy are described in the literature. We present a case of respiratory distress resulting from displacement of a single-strap eye mask over the nares. To avoid this indirect side effect of phototherapy, the use of a multiple-strap eye mask and restraint of certain infants is recommended.

Report of a Case.—A female infant born at term had moderate respiratory distress at 3 days of age. She was receiving phototherapy because of significant hyperbilirubinemia at 48 hours of age. In conjunction with phototherapy, a single-strap eye mask was applied.

Hemoglobin level was 21 gm/100 ml and hematocrit value was 63%. At 48 hours, serum bilirubin level was 14.8 mg/100 ml (indirect, 11.6 mg/100 ml). Roentgenogram of the chest was normal.

The newborn was well developed, but icteric and dusky. Respiratory rate was 70/min. Both nostrils were completely

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