The Department of Neonatology at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital extends top quality care to neonates (both premature and sick full term) for a wide array of complex medical and surgical conditions. Our medical team administers the very latest in treatment and our NICU is state-of-the-art. We strive to maintain international standards and great importance is given to infection-control practices which have led us to achieve excellent outcomes. We have great sub-specialty support from the departments of cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, paediatric surgery and radiology.
A preterm baby is one who is born ahead of the scheduled completion of pregnancy, i.e. before 37 weeks of pregnancy. A preterm baby can be late preterm (born between 34-36 weeks), moderately preterm (32-34 weeks), very preterm (28-32 weeks) and extreme preterm (<28 weeks). Premature birth is one of main reasons for neonatal death and disease. If preterm babies, especially the very preterm and extreme preterm, are not cared for in a level 3 NICU the chances of death and long-term complications are high. To survive, preterm babies require very high quality nursing care allied with state of art NICU equipment, great infection control practices and doctors specialising in neonatology. The NICU in Ramakrishna Hospital has 2 trained neonatologists, 5 assistant paediatricians and several experienced neonatal nurses who provide round the clock care to our preterm patients. We have managed many extreme preterm babies (born as early as 24 weeks) who are now living healthy childhoods. Our results are on par with global standards, as many delighted parents will testify.
You have probably heard of the term ‘hypertension’ and know it refers to high blood pressure. Many adults suffer from this condition which is easily treated by the right medication. In foetuses, the blood pressure within the lungs is high. It needs to decrease after birth, and usually does. However, some newborn babies continue to have high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs after birth. This condition is known as Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) and it can be life-threatening. PPHN causes the blood to be carried away from the lungs which, in turn, decreases oxygen levels in the blood. The NICU at Ramakrishna hospital has 2 High Frequency Oscillation Ventilators (HFOV) which are extremely useful in treating this condition. Being the first hospital in the city to possess these machines, we treat babies from across the region.
Treatments & Procedures
While the survival of babies from the NICU has improved considerably over the last few decades, what is arguably more important is ‘intact survival’ which is survival with normal normal intelligence, sensory function and muscle strength. This is what ensures the best possible quality of life for children and adults. The uterus is the best environment for growth and brain development. Developmental care involves the creation of an artificial womb in the NICU for preterm babies. It includes several concepts like nesting, cycling of light, reduced sound levels, kangaroo care, massage, oro-motor stimulation and clustered care. The nursing team and doctors in our NICU take great pride in delivering developmental care and thereby providing the gentlest of care to our tiny patients and ensuring optimal environment for the growth of their brains and sensory development.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome affects as many as 10% of all babies born and a much greater percentage of preterm infants. The incidence of RDS increases with increasing prematurity. In the past these babies were treated with intubation and through supporting their breathing by artificial ventilation and surfactants. Nowadays, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) has emerged as the first line treatment of RDS. CPAP helps in keeping the alveoli of the lungs open thereby preventing respiratory failure. CPAP also helps in lung growth of preterm babies. The NICU team in Sri Ramakrishna Hospital is well versed in the use of CPAP and we have the lowest rates of adverse effects from it which is a testament to our nursing expertise.