Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Half Sando incubators not working, says doctor

Ariti Jankie South Bureau
Saturday, June 23rd 2007
There are 14 incubators at the San Fernando General Hospital to treat newborn babies with problems. But if more than seven babies needed incubators, the hospital would be in a fix-that's because only seven are working.
There was also a lack of water and a shortage of nurses and doctors to look after the babies.
This was the picture painted yesterday by consultant paediatrician at the hospital's neo-natal unit, Dr Kerryn Brahim.
He said that a 6,000-gallon tank placed on the rooftop also fails to supply water due to faulty plumbing. The water shortage placed newborn babies at risk of contamination.
Brahim said there was a big improvement in infrastructure at the hospital, but maintenance was poor.
"It takes too long to have equipment repaired," he said, adding that a lack of incubators forced the nursing staff to provide a heat shield or double layers of clothing to keep the babies warm.
"The nurses are overworked and they have been doing as much work as they can. If things go wrong they are not to be blamed," Brahim added.
He pulled no punches as he related the problems faced on the ward, in light of the injuries suffered by baby Joshua Williams this week.
Brahim said the tissue burns on little Joshua's left foot could have been prevented.
"With sufficient staff the burn could at least have been minimised," Brahim said, adding that grafting would have to be done to the baby's foot.
The baby's mother, Marcia Marcano, of Guayaguayare, told the Express her baby's foot was burnt and his skin peeled off where tubes were attached to his body. She said Joshua, who was born with a congenital deformity of the intestine, weighed 11.5 pound at birth on May 4 but now weighs 6.01 pounds.
Brahim said baby Joshua was slowly recovering "hour by hour". He said the baby started vomiting after birth and was operated on to take out an affected segment of his bowel. The baby later developed adhesions (abnormal union of bodily tissues) and was sent back to surgery where a colostomy was done to reduce obstruction with the bowel opening out to the skin.

No comments: