Traverse Innovation: Ventures and Opportunities across Nursing Practice @Saveetha College of Nursing
Preterm babies are babies born before the normal period of gestation which is 37 weeks.These babies suffer from various problems due to the immaturity of the various organ systems.The most important problem these babies suffer is respiratory distress syndrome which occurs due to deficiency of a protein called surfactant which is needed for lung maturation which leads to breathing difficulty and reduced oxygen supply.These babies also have poor ability to suck and swallow the breastmilk and so require nutrition to be give externally. These babies are also at increased risk of infection due to immaturity of the immune system and reduced ability to fight infections.
We have managed many such babies in our neonatal intensive care unit at Saveetha medical college and hospital. The smallest baby that we have managed was born at 25 weeks and 4 days .This baby is second born to Mrs.Panchavarnam and Mr.Balakrishnan hailing from Tiruverkadu. They come from a lower middle class family with her husband working as supervisor in Sriperambathur. Mother had to undergo emergency caesarean section for a massive vaginal bleeding at 25 weeks of gestation.She also had a placenta which was invading the uterus.
At the time of birth the baby was 590 grams only and had difficulty in breathing due to extreme prematurity and immature development of the lungs (surfactant deficiency).The baby required immediate respiratory care in form of ventilation and surfactant administration to help the baby tide over the respiratory problem. Further the baby needed nutrition to be given externally in form of intravenous lipids,carbohydrates and proteins through central venous route as the baby was too weak to suck and swallow directly. This total parentral nutrition was given for 40 days to produce the desired weight gain.Simultaneously the baby was receiving mothers milk through a tube inserted through the mouth.The current weight of the baby is 2040 grams. The baby had anemia which was treated with blood transfusion and a special medicine called erythropoietin. To increase the weight of the baby received a specialized developmental care called Kangroo care which helps in temperature maintenance, improving breastfeeding, prevention of infection and brain development of the baby. Both the father and the mother were involved in this care .Baby also received laser therapy for retinopathy of prematurity.
At present the baby is102 days old, clinically stable and ready to home .In Saveetha medical college hospital this neonatal intensive care treatment for this baby has been given totally free of cost.Here the patients are treated free of cost if they are registered under Muthaiammal scheme and Dr.Muthulakshmi Reddy scheme Mothers are also treated free of cost and they are allowed to occupy a postnatal bed for the entire period of hospital stay of the baby.