LD records 6.69 % Neonatal Mortality Rate in 2020-21

Kashmir Magazine

The Neonatal Mortality Rate in Kashmir Valley’s premiere tertiary health care institute, Lalla Ded (LD) hospital has significantly come down from over 18 percent in 2017-18 to 6.69 in 2020-21, which is better than the UT and National average, reveals official data.

Official data available with The Kashmir Magazine reveals that LD Hospital has shown record improvement in the last 3 years in Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) and has come down from 18.84 in 2017-18 to 6.69 in 2020-21.
As per the official data the current NMR of LD hospital is better than the UT and National average. "The Neonatal Mortality Rate of Jammu and Kashmir is 9.8 percent."

Officials said that the OPD as well as the IPD of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at LD has grown tremendously, keeping in view the fact that it is the lone tertiary care hospital for all complicated, high risk, poorly managed Antenatal cases.

"The hospital is catering to patients from all over the valley including Kargil, Banihal, Rajouri and Doda. And approximately 25 to 30 percent population of the valley is born at LD Hospital," they said.

The data also reveal that around 2100-2400 Neonates are delivered per month and approximately 250 to 300 sick new born are admitted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit per month.

"Most of the New Born admitted are premature, low birth weight requiring life care support immediately at the time of birth which includes invasive ventilator support to CPAP support. Out of 10-20 new admissions per 24 hours, about 6-7 admissions are premature babies from 26th week of gestational age (7 months) up to 34 week (8 months) with maximum, newborn having gestational age 28-30 weeks with weight of 1.2 to 1.3 kgs," data reveals.

As per the data such babies in addition to ventilator support need certain medicines (Surfactant) for their lung maturity. "On record, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at LD hospital has successfully discharged 90% such premature, low birth babies whose admission stay in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ranged from 25 to 35 days. On record birth weight of 890 grams, premature baby was successfully discharged from the hospital after staying 38 days in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit," it reveals.

It also said that despite having huge patient load and dealing with all complicated high-risk deliveries from all over the valley, LD hospital has shown great improvement in Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate in the last 3 years. "The NMR has come down from 18.84 in 2017-18 to 6.69 in 2020-21 and stands better than the UT & National Level."

Meanwhile, officials said that the measures that have been put in place, which helped in improvising the neonate care at NICU at LD Hospital include availability of Specialists and Medical Officers, well trained paramedics as well as post graduate scholars 24x7, monitoring sick neonates who are on ventilators or CPAP’s.

"Monthly MMR & NMR meetings are conducted wherein review of all Maternal and Neonatal Deaths, identifying circumstances and cause of death, discussion related to whether the line of management or SOPs were followed and suggest corrective measures to prevent such deaths in future. The NICU has been upgraded with new and latest machinery, equipment and gadgets," they said.

Thye said that free availability of life saving drugs including surfactant, caffeine citrate and high-end Antibiotics, CMC/AMC of all the equipment particularly ventilators and CPAPs has been done to ensure that they are fully functional round the clock.

"Aseptic conditions are maintained in the NICU including providing proper disposable gear to the staff as well as attendants. The desired purity and the pressure of the oxygen pipeline leading to the NICU is maintained without fail (availability of oxygen has been raised from 300 LPM to 2200 LPM). Ensuring early and exclusive breastfeeding. Due attention has been given for keeping the baby warm including skin to skin care," they said.

They also said that the hospital has established fully equipped state of the art 4-bedded ICU and 8 bedded HDU that has played a vital role in not only decreasing Maternal Mortality Rate but also Neonate Mortality Rate.

"The commissioning of Modular OT with 4 fully functional OT tables has decreased the waiting time of laboring mothers with high-risk pregnancies contributing in bringing down Neonate Mortality Rate. Implementation of various health schemes in a proper way i.e. SEHAT Scheme, JSSK, LAQSHYA, FPC & KMC has played its role in increasing the facilities and bringing down the Neonate Mortality Rate. Implementation of Infection Control Policy that includes cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of the NICU. Proper Bio-Medical Waste Management and Frequent Micro-Biological sampling is done at the NICU," the officials said.

They also that this record improvement in NMR would have not been possible without the implementation of government policies of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha and the administrative support by advisor to the LG, additional chief secretary, Health & Medical Education Department and Principal and Dean Medical College Srinagar.