Doctors save over 3.7K low birth weight babies - Hindustan Times
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Doctors save over 3.7K low birth weight babies

ByVicky Pathare
Dec 08, 2023 10:44 PM IST

As per the report, all these babies weighed less than 1.5 kgs and were born with a low weight, sick or with some medical condition

The health professionals successfully saved the lives of 3,742 premature babies born with low weight in the past two years, according to the public heath department, which shared the data on Friday.

The doctors at the Pune unit have managed to bring a substantial decline in the incidence of low birth weight over the past five years. (HT PHOTO)
The doctors at the Pune unit have managed to bring a substantial decline in the incidence of low birth weight over the past five years. (HT PHOTO)

As per the report, all these babies weighed less than 1.5 kgs and were born with a low weight, sick or with some medical condition.

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The health department has established 52 special newborn care units at 18 district hospitals, 13 sub-district hospitals, 11 women’s hospitals, four general hospitals, one rural hospital and five municipal hospitals to extend specialized medical services to premature children, those born with low-weight, sick or with some medical condition.

The unit was started in 2013 at Aundh District Hospital in Pune which provided treatment to over 9,380 neonates born underweight and preterm. The unit initially started with 12 beds and in 2019 the number of beds was increased to 24 beds.

The Pune unit has a triage area, inborn unit, outborn unit; step down unit and kangaroo mother care unit. The state average mortality rate of neonatal death is 11% but the neonatal death rate at the unit of Aundh Hospital is around 5%.

The doctors at the Pune unit have managed to bring a substantial decline in the incidence of low birth weight over the past five years.

In Maharashtra every year these 52 such units provide medical care to over 50,000 babies who are born with low weight or medical conditions.

These units have helped to increase the chances of survival and bring down neonatal mortality in the state, said officials.

Dr Kailas Baviskar, deputy director of health services, said, around 50,000 critically ill infants across the state are treated every in these units.

“During the years 2022-23 and 2023-24 (end of October), a total of 3,742 very low birth weight (less than 1500 gm) newborns were successfully treated and discharged. The centres have proved to be a boon for the neonates,” he said.

Each unit has a minimum of 12 to 16-bed facility with one paediatrician, three medical officers, ten nurses and four support staff, who provide round-the-clock services for newborns or babies requiring special care. The unit is equipped with medical equipment like a radiant warmer, phototherapy unit, infusion pumps, multi-para monitor etc. Healthcare services like hypothermia, sepsis/infection, jaundice, antibiotics, and assisted feeding are provided to sick newborns.

Dr Baviskar said additional services for preterm babies like non-invasive ventilation (eg CPAP) for critical neonates who require respiratory support, and surfactant for premature neonates are provided at the unit.

“Also, special services like Kangaroo Mother care and treatment for Congenital blindness and deafness are provided for low birth weight babies. All tests and treatments are provided free of cost at the units,” he said

Dr Bansal elected to governing council of VRSI

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