Boost for neonatal care with Wadia hosiptal's 110-bed facility

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 01 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Neonatal intensive care in the city got a shot in the arm on Thursday when Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital in Parel threw open a 110-bed facility for newborns. The hospital has also started the process to become a dedicated organ transplant centre for children.

Moreover, the neighbouring civic-run KEM Hospital is adding a few NICU beds, taking its strength to 40. With these additions, the current count of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds stands at around 500 though a big city like Mumbai needs at least 2,000 beds.

Wadia hospital already had a NICU facility, which has now been upgraded with more beds and advanced equipment. The hospital plans to add more beds, taking the count to 150, by next April. "The city needs all NICU beds it can get. We, particularly, get patients from as far as Kashmir and UP," said Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Children Hospital. She pointed out the hospital has also added 20 ventilators, 20 warmers, multi-part monitors, high-end medicine delivering equipment and SiPAP (non-invasive nasal ventilation) machines to treat newborns better.

The hospital plans to build a robust transplant programme. Bodhanwala said around 10 doctors had been trained in kidney transplant. "We have to refer many kids born with nephritic symptoms elsewhere. Even one-day-old babies have required dialysis. We thought of starting a facility of our own and have applied for permissions," she said.

Public health minister Suresh Shetty, who inaugurated the NICU, promised to grant all the permissions for the organ transplant centre. "Maharashtra is one of the three states to have reduced mortality rates and we have to reduce it further," he said.

Experts said Mumbai needed more NICU facilities as they got children from neighbouring areas too. "We have a waiting list. Our facility is always overloaded with patients," said Dr Ruchi Nanavati, head of neonatology at KEM Hospital. Another doctor added the cost of NICU beds in private sector is out of reach for most middle-class families. "It is Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per day and the average period of stay is at least a week," said the doctor.

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