Fully prepared to prevent preterm baby deaths: CMCH officials

In the wake of the spate of deaths of newborn babies at the Dharmapuri Medical College Hospital at Dharmapuri, the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital has reviewed its practices over the last couple of days.

A Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC) centre, constructed at a cost of Rs. 6.38 crore, was inaugurated this June at the CMCH, which has among the highest referral rates among Government Hospitals in the State.

Sources told The Hindu here on Thursday that senior doctors, including the Dean S. Revwathy, undertook rounds of the wards including the labour ward, the neonatal intensive care unit and the labour ward regularly.

The CEmONC centre would remain operational round-the-clock with a team of paediatricians, gynaecologists, anaesthetists and medical officers. It will have three intensive care units (ICU), one each for eclampsia (life-threatening complication during pregnancy), for women with excessive bleeding during or after delivery and one for patients after caesarean section

The CMCH recorded between 15 and 20 deliveries per day, with the monthly average ranging from 500 to 600. Between 10 and 15 caesarean sections were being performed daily. It treated patients from several Western districts and even from border districts of Kerala.

The equipment that were necessary to take care of preterm babies were checked periodically. It also had 25 incubators, in addition to an equal number at the CMCH's Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, besides other equipment.

A senior doctor said that most pregnant women coming to the medical college hospitals were ‘high risk’ as a majority of the normal deliveries now occur at the Primary Health Centres.

The ratio of ‘high-risk’ and normal patients was almost 50:50 at the CEmONC centre, which provided comprehensive emergency care for both women and newborn babies under one roof. The neonatal mortality rate for the Coimbatore region was seven per 1,000 births. For the CMCH, the figure rose to 19 per 1,000 births due to the concentration of high-risk cases.


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