More than 120 babies admitted to GPHC’s Neonatal ICU monthly

The original article can be found in: Kaieteur News

Since it has been put into operation, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) has been seeing admission of over 120 babies monthly, some born prematurely while some were diagnosed with various conditions after birth.
NICU is an intensive care unit specialized in the care of ill or premature newborn infants and according to the ward’s manager, Shavanie Ramdihol, the unit cares for any condition that babies might be born with, among then asphyxia or also if the baby develops jaundice within the first 28 days after birth. The recently commissioned unit is a three-room facility which separates the critical babies from the less ill.
“The first room is for the most critical babies, the second is for the less critical, and sometimes we also put critical babies in the second room, because the first one might be full and the third room is for critical but stable infants,” Ramdihol explained.
“If a baby is born with any of those conditions, then we have to give care to the baby in the NICU. We cannot care for the baby outside of that unit ,especially for preterms, because they would need incubator care and sometimes the baby would need supplementary, or CPAP,” Ramdihol stressed.
The NICU is equipped with Cardiac monitors, ventilators, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and incubators.
The Ward manager noted that prior to the commissioning of the NICU last year; premature babies or infants born with different conditions were admitted to the adult ICU (Intensive Care Unit).
“That was very challenging, because we had to prioritize the babies, since the ICU had other patients. It was only last year that 11 nurses from the various hospitals were trained in this field,” Ramdihol added.
She explained that there is a shortage of nurses at the unit as well as shortage of equipment. “Some of the equipment is short, we only have three ventilators, and as soon as one baby comes off, we have to clean it and put another on, but we were promised some equipment so we are hoping to get them soon.”
“We currently have three nurses on each shift and that is not enough. It’s a challenge with the amount of babies we have to take care of daily and then we can have as much as 33 referrals from the different hospitals,” the ward manager added.
She advises pregnant women to join the antenatal clinic so that their pregnancy can be monitored. “Pregnant mothers need to join the clinic so that somebody can check them and tell them what is going on with the pregnancy. Even before your pregnancy, seek medical advice so that the outcome of that pregnancy can be a good one.”

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