159 children die in last five months in Hassan
As many as 97 infants have died in HIMS in Hassan since April this year.
Heart, respiratory issues, low weight at birth are causes: Doctors
HASSAN (Karnataka ) Sept 11 : Infant mortality rate has been on the rise in Hassan district in the last four years. In Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, a tertiary medical college hospital, alone, 97 children died since April this year.
According to reports obtained from the Health and Family Welfare Department, infant mortality (death within a year of birth) was 15 for every 1,000 live births in the district four years ago. Last year, it was 18 for 1,000 live births, a year before it stood at 16 for 1,000 live births. For many years, earlier, the infant mortality stood at 15 for 1,000 live births. However, in the current year, it is 19 deaths for every 1,000 live births. “Though infant mortality in the district is less than the State average of 28 deaths for every 1,000 live births, the trend of increase in the rate is alarming,” said a senior officer of the department.
In the last five months, 159 children died in the district. Among them, 97 died in HIMS. Prasanna Kumar, Head of the Department of Paediatrics, told The Hindu: “The reasons for deaths were many. Children born with less than 1 kilogram of body weight seldom survive. In case of pre-term births, lungs are not grown properly and that causes respiratory problems resulting in deaths. In some cases, children are born with heart problems.”
The institute has a neonatal intensive care unit facility with ventilators and warmers. However, the facility available is insufficient given the number of admissions the hospital receives every day. “On an average, 750 to 800 deliveries are done in the institute in a month. Besides that, complicated cases in Chikkamagaluru district, where the district hospital has only one paediatrician, and other hospitals in the district are referred to our institute. Sometimes, we are forced to keep two babies in one warmer,” Dr. Kumar said.
Every day, at least eight new babies are admitted to the NICU and the infrastructure available is insufficient to handle the rush. Doctors also expressed worry that keeping more than one baby in a warmer would increase the chances of spreading infection.
Hassan Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri recently conducted a meeting of Health Department officers regarding the increasing deaths and suggested the officers for immediate measures to stop it. The senior officers noted that increase in the infrastructure facilities in the HIMS was the urgent need to address the situation. As of now, the HIMS has begun expanding its NICU at a cost of ₹45 lakh. The Department of Health has suggested the need for a newborn stabilising unit (NBSU), to bring down infant mortality.