Surge in pre­ma­ture births

Townsville Bulletin - - News -

CHRISTCHURCH health ser­vices bat­tling to deal with quake in­juries and deaths are also try­ing to cope with a dif­fer­ent prob­lem – a surge in new life.

Can­ter­bury district health di­rec­tor David Meates said there had been a ‘‘ real pres­sure’’ to deal with births af­ter last week’s 6.3-mag­ni­tude tremor.

He said pre­ma­ture ba­bies had packed out Christchurch Hos­pi­tal’s neona­tal unit.

‘‘ Earth­quakes do tend to hurry things along for those in­tend­ing to de­liver,’’ said Meates of the surge in births, which saw some 76 ma­ter­nity pa­tients hos­pi­talised in the days af­ter the Fe­bru­ary 22 quake.

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