Deaths of neona­tals, chil­dren un­der five have dropped

- Lawrence

Stabroek News Sunday - - STABROEK NEWS -

course by all pub­lic health care med­i­cal doc­tors and nurses.

On test­ing for steril­ity in the NICU, she said, there is no guide­line at the GPHC which stip­u­lates that en­vi­ron­men­tal steril­ity checks must be done rou­tinely. Checks are done when noso­co­mial (orig­i­nat­ing in the hospi­tal) or­gan­isms are iden­ti­fied so that the source of trans­mis­sion can be ad­dressed.

For June 2017 to De­cem­ber 2017 blood cul­ture bot­tles were avail­able 100 per cent of the time, but from Jan­uary 2018 to June 2018 they were avail­able for only 39.2 per­cent of the time, Lawrence said.

The multi-drug re­sis­tant Kleb­siella pneu­mo­niae was iso­lated at the GPHC, Lawrence said in re­sponse to one of the ques­tions from Per­saud. Nine­teen sam­ples out of 578 blood cul­tures – be­tween June 2017 and June 2018 shown the multi-drug re­sis­tant or­gan­ism.

When cer­tain med­i­ca­tions were not avail­able for such in­fec­tions, she said, oth­ers were used.

On whether any cause of death was due to ia­tro­genic (re­lat­ing to ill­ness caused by med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion or treat­ment) in­fec­tion, she said, it was dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine the time of in­fec­tion of a baby since in­fec­tions in new­borns oc­cur pre­na­tally, peri­na­tally or post­na­tally. No cause of death due to ia­tro­genic in­fec­tion was iden­ti­fied at the GPHC though steril­ity checks found noso­co­mial or­gan­isms through pa­tient cul­tures and ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions were taken to sani­tise the NICU.

The cur­rent nurse to pa­tient ra­tio in the NICU is 1 to 4. Sixty-nine spe­cially-trained pae­di­atric nurses work in the Min­istry of Pub­lic Health and 21 trained NICU nurses are at­tached to the GPHC.

Of 473 ad­mis­sions to the NICU at the GPHC, 69 were re­ferred from other in­sti­tu­tions.

The NICU is of­ten over­crowded, Lawrence said, and the GPHC can­not refuse sick ba­bies.

The NICU at the GPHC has 11 in­cu­ba­tors of which five are in use and work­ing while six are kept as spares.

A to­tal of 10 in­cu­ba­tors and six ven­ti­la­tors, a do­na­tion from Guyana Help the Kids, were added since May 11, 2015. Two biomed­i­cal tech­ni­cians and two biomed­i­cal engi­neers main­tain the in­cu­ba­tors and ven­ti­la­tors, she said.

At present there are four of seven func­tion­ing in­cu­ba­tors in Re­gion Two (Pomeroon/Su­pe­naam), all five are work­ing in Re­gion Two (West De­mer­ara/ Esse­quibo Is­lands), five of eight in Re­gion Six (East Ber­bice/Coren­tyne), zero of four in Re­gion Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni) and all four work­ing in Re­gion Ten (Up­per De­mer­ara/ Up­per Ber­bice).

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