ICH to get warmers, echocardiogram and other equipment

Post-operative care for newborns undergoing cardiac surgeries is all set to improve at the Institute of Child Health (ICH) and Hospital for Children, Egmore.

The department of cardiothoracic surgery is procuring equipment, including left ventricular assistive devices and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), to support newborns in the post-operative period.

ICH, one of the largest referral centres in the State for paediatric cases, receives a large number of children for cardiac surgeries.

Work to upgrade the department of cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery into a centre of excellence is under way at the hospital. The State government has sanctioned Rs. 25 crore for upgrading the facilities, according to hospital authorities.

“Construction of the fourth and fifth floors in the existing department building is in progress. A hybrid cath lab is coming up on the fifth floor next to an operation theatre for newborns and infants. This will enable us to shift the children from the lab to the operation theatre if surgical intervention is required. We have been handling children aged from six months to 12 years, and improving facilities for post-operative care will help in supporting newborns to a great extent,” says B. Kasinathan, associate professor, department of paediatric cardiothoracic surgery, ICH.

Warmers, echocardiogram and ECMO, that will provide support to weak heart and lungs in the post-operative period, will be some of the additional facilities at the department. The hospital has also requested the government to provide trained staff nurses.

Dr. Kasinathan says the incidence of congenital cardiac disorders is quite high and this adds to the load of cases at the department.

“Congenital cardiac ailments could be prevented by creating awareness among the public on avoiding consanguineous marriages. Most congenital cardiac disorders are due to consanguineous marriages,” he says.

The department performs one open heart surgery and one closed heart surgery every day, five days a week.

“The department will get additional manpower, including assistant professors and staff nurses, and more equipment. These will enable us to improve services for children,” says S. Srinivasan, registrar, ICH.

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