On account of ‘World Prematurity Day’ and to commerade the completion of 25 successful years of NICU Manipal Hospitals unveiled patient connect programs for expectant parents. With an aim to create awareness towards premature deliveries/ babies the programme will educate parents and give them hands on knowledge on precautions and care to be taken towards such babies.
Long after discharge, premature babies require special care, follow-ups with doctors and precautionary measures to survive. In one hour long session that was conducted at Manipal Hospitals the expectant parents were informed about how right perspective and timely measures can help them cope better in such a situation. Neonatologists, clinicians, nutritionists, breast feeding consultants and psychologists spoke on the common concerns of preemies. Importance of breast feeding was retreated to establish healthy nutrition early. Causes, risks of pre mature pregnancies were discussed at length.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. N.Karthik Nagesh, Chairman Neonatology and NICUs, Manipal Hospital said, “We at Manipal Hospitals have been at the forefront of treating such small and critically ill babies for the last more than 25 years and many of our ‘NICU Graduates’ today are very intelligent and productive members of the society. They are our future. On the occasion of ‘World Prematurity Day’ we should send a strong message to the society that Premature babies should be given a good chance as they have excellent survival and neural development outcomes now that the quality of care has also improved so much more in these last 2 decades.”
He further added, “Overall in India 28 million babies are born every year and out of which 20% are born pre term/ pre mature. The problem is more prevalent among urban population. There are multiple reasons for pre mature delivery like maternal under nutrition, teenage pregnancies, lifestyle of women working in corporate world who undergo stress and have a sedentary lifestyle, women with high blood pressure and diabetes, delay in pregnancy or postponing babies, late pregnancy and also women who undergo assisted reproduction and have multiple pregnancies may end up having pre term babies.”
Manipal Hospitals has handled several cases in the past and some of them are grown up adults today. Davik Viswanath, 22 year old (Son of Gundappa and Kavitha Vishwanath) was born with only weight of 1 kg born at only 32 weeks. Mother’s condition during delivery was extremely critical as it was a forced delivery. She was herself admitted in the ICU for a week before she got a chance to see her baby who was under the supervision of Dr. Karthik Nagesh. Baby stayed in NICU for close to 3 months. Initially his lungs were not functioning properly as he was facing some breathing issues. He later gained weight and was discharged when he gained weight upto 2 kgs plus. Today he has completed law and is practicing cricket full time and aiming to be selected for the State Cricket team.
Second case was of now 19 year old Devaskanda who is a miracle baby as he was only 600 grams when he was born and it further reduced to 520 grams. He was of the size of doctor’s palm. Back in 1990 when his mother had tried several times and lost babies at 27 weeks no one knew the reason. Thus Devaskanda was a special baby as the parents really hoped that he survived. His immature lungs and heart and other body systems made him very sick. The Doctors and Nurses worked hard on him for 4 months to help him survive through a very stormy course in NICU. There were very few trained doctors and nurses those days who could take care of such a tiny baby who was so small that his veins were as thin as hair. Putting IV lines and artificial breathing tubes in him was a great challenge. Dedication and hard work paid off and finally he went home after 4 months. Follow up care was regularly done and often he would fall sick in infancy. His interests are aviation and biology and is keen to persue degree in aviation once he completes grade 12.
The third case is of 25 year old Sanjana. She was born at 28 weeks and weighed less than a kg.She had severe complications in intestines that had to be operated. She also had to undergo cardiac surgeries and surgery in the eye that was damaged due to pre maturity. She recovered and was discharged from NICU at Manipal Hospitals and later went on to be a brilliant student in academics. She topped in her school and finished Law from Christ University. She is now perusing her LLM in UK in Maritime Law. She has cracked competitive exams to go abroad and study and is a gifted child.There are several ways to avoid challenges of pre term pregnancy. It’s always better for Mother to be sent to a safer delivery place or in a bigger Hospital that has a complete Neo Natal care and well equipped set up. This is much easier and less complicated when transporting the baby once it is born to a better Hospital which has good facilities. Also severity of disease can be reduced through injecting anti natal steroids to mother in order to prevent complications associated with pre maturity/ pre term.