Deaths of neonatals, children under five have dropped
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).