What Parents Should Know About NICU Care?
Why there is Need for an NICU? Why would expected parents ultimately have to keep their baby in an NICU and then what are the facilities available at Hospital NICU ward and what is so special about the Currae NICU.
You would have heard among your friends and relatives that the babies do land up in NICU. NICU, is defined as Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. There are multiple reasons why a baby lands up with an NICU, first and foremost is the age of the mother. If a woman becomes mother at less than 20 years or more than 35 years, the baby requires an NICU. Less than 20 is absolutely rare in metro cities but in villages, it is still common where they marry girls at 18 or 16 years, obviously these woman are not healthy enough to become mothers and their internal organs are undeveloped, so the babies land up in an NICU. More than 35 years is common in metro cities where people would like to settle down in life and then start a family and that itself prolongs their first pregnancy because of which the babies develop some congenital anomalies, some genetic problems can occur in the mother because of that.
Next is multiple pregnancies, nowadays, you know that prematurity and multiple pregnancies are common, so some babies can be born prematurely or there could be multiple pregnancies because of which the baby may land up in an NICU. Post maturity is another problem, in that the babies are in the womb for more than 9 months because of which they can land up with some complications. Another thing common right now is that mothers develop diabetes, hypertension, and thyroid, these are 3 common problems that mothers develop during pregnancy because of which the babies land up with NICU because of multiple other complications. Then there are congenital anomalies, babies can have holes in the heart, babies can have kidney anomalies, baby can have heart anomalies, baby can have brain anomalies because of which the baby lands up in the NICU, but mind you, all these diseases are treatable.
Now, I should tell you that the neonatal mortality rate in India has come down drastically after the advent of the NICUs and the advent of neonatologists. So these are the common reasons for which babies in general would require an NICU, but you need not be scared off. The percentage, the incidence of a baby requiring NICU is 10-15%, by that I mean if 100 ladies go for a delivery, 10-15 of their babies would require NICU, that means 80 to 85 to 90% of the babies actually go home absolutely fine.
Then we come to what is so special about Currae?
Now, Currae is a high-end NICU. NICUs can be level 1, level 2, and level 3. Level 1 is where you have basic caretaker, warmer care, nursing available but not much of oxygenation and ventilation, whereas Level 2 and Level 3 where ventilations are available and high-end machines are available, wherein babies can survive much better than the Level 1 care. The specialty about Currae is that it is a rare setup where a maternity as well as NICU coexist, whereas if you see in Thane district, there may be 100 + maternity homes but there are only 4 or 5 NICUs, and even in that, the maternity home and the NICU rarely coexist, whereas Currae is one setup where we have Level 3 Care NICU along with high-end maternity setup and high-end NICU setup.
Dr. Ramesh Iyer
Consultant – Pediatrician