Over 300 critically-ill pregnant women saved at GPHC this year

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

A total of 785 babies were admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation’s (GPHC) Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) and step-down units this year.

Of that number, 637 babies were delivered at GPHC and the remaining 148 were transferred from health centers and private medical institutions.

A large number of the newborn babies were diagnosed with presumed sepsis or prematurity and required respiratory support.

This includes a total of 98 newborn babies who died this between an average of twenty-eight or more days.

During GPHC’s End of Year press conference on Thursday, Coordinator of Neonatal Services Dr. Sara Singh revealed that this is the lowest number of neonatal deaths recorded since 2011.

She noted that the department’s goal is to decrease neonatal mortality through improved services and proper prenatal care for pregnant women.

“Just so we all grasp the enormity of this accomplishment, in 2019 there were 124 deaths, in 2020 and 2021 there were 118 deaths and in there were 129. The average number of deaths within the last 11 years 2012 to 2022 was 150, in comparison to 98 in 2023. That’s a difference of fifty- two, that’s 52 more babies that have survived this year in comparison to the average over the last 11 years.”

All departments in the NICU were renovated this year, specifically the Step-down unit which was expanded to accommodate nine additional beds.

The NICU also received ten warmers, ten incubators and new general medical officers, among others.

Dr. Singh said the provisions played an integral role in increasing the departments vigilance and ability to ensure babies are not exposed to infections due to overcrowding.

“We have found alternatives to increasing our numbers in the NICU. If we were at capacity patients were now transferred or referred to other hospitals or facilities that have doctors which graduated from our residency programme here at Georgetown Public Hospital through the IHSE made available at these hospitals to manage the sick neonates. West Demerara Hospital, Linden, Suddie, and New Amsterdam hospital are all outfitted with ventilators so we work very closely with these and other hospitals in order to deliver optimum care.”

Meanwhile, there were ten maternal deaths recorded at the GPHC. Three women, died due to ectopic pregnancies, three died due to respiratory disorders, another three died of hypertensive conditions during their pregnancies and the final woman faced a hypovolemic shock after her c-section.

This is according to the hospital’s Chief Consultant Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Rafi Rozan, who spoke at the GPHC’s end-of-year press conference on Thursday.

“… as compared from the two previous years, there would’ve been a decline (in the number of maternal deaths),” Dr. Rozan said.

Dr. Rozan also explained that six of the ten patients who eventually died this year were referred to the GPHC from other hospitals in a critical state; some of them were from outlying regions.

These were all high-risk cases but notably over 300 women, in critical conditions, were saved throughout the year.

Further, Dr. Rozan revealed that there were 54 stillbirths this year so far.