Surge in premature births
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.