Mumbai

Johar’s twins put the spotlight on NICU beds

Indian writer-producer and director, Karan Johar attends the �Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival� Movie Mela for the upcoming Hindi film �Ae Dil Hai Mushkil�, written-produced and directed by Karan Johar, in Mumbai on October 22, 2016.
 / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

Indian writer-producer and director, Karan Johar attends the �Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival� Movie Mela for the upcoming Hindi film �Ae Dil Hai Mushkil�, written-produced and directed by Karan Johar, in Mumbai on October 22, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

Mumbai: Filmmaker Karan Johar’s twins, who were discharged from the Surya Child Care Hospital in Santacruz on Wednesday after spending 51 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), have once again brought into focus the urgent need for NICU beds in the city.

Doctors say the city not only needs more beds in NICU facilities, crucial for premature babies and those suffering from infections, but also trained staff.

Mr. Johar’s twins, Yash and Roohi, were born almost two months prematurely on February 7 at an Andheri hospital. After their birth, the twins were shifted to the NICU at Surya Child Care. They weighed around 1.5 kg each at birth, and at the time of discharge, weighed around 2.8 kg each. “Both the babies are doing well. They are in a healthy state,” said Dr. Bhupendra Avasthi, the director of Surya Child Care.

Dr. Avasthi emphasised the need for more NICU beds in the city. “We have a 1,000-odd beds in the public as well as private sector, but the number is too small. We need at least 500 more such beds equipped with ventilators, and trained staff to make the situation slightly better,” said Dr. Avasthi.

High IMR

Seven lakh babies are estimated to die every year between 0 and 28 days after birth, and at least 40% of the the deaths are due to premature births. “The recent National Family Health Survey pegged the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) to 41 per 1,000 births. The IMR of Unites States is merely four per 1,000 live births. That is the kind of glaring difference we need to worry about,” he added.

Doctors say there is a need to make parents aware about premature births and their requirements. While some premature births cannot be predicted, in cases where a woman is carrying twins or triplets or has co-morbid conditions, the babies are likely to be born prematurely or extremely small. “In such cases, the only option is to choose a centre for delivery that is either equipped with a good NICU or has one close by,” said Dr. Avasthi.

A premature baby generally spends anywhere between 20 days to three months in a NICU. “The NICU beds are also required for babies suffering from infections, jaundice or any health conditions, and therefore, becomes crucial for them,”according to Dr. Jayashree Mondkar, head of neonatology at the civic-body-run Sion hospital, which has 40 NICU beds.

“At any given point of time, we accommodate 60 to 70 babies on the beds. The option is giving the babies something or nothing at all. The neonatal care in private hospitals is extremely expensive. In our hospital, 95% babies in the NICU are hospital deliveries and very few are transfers,”said Dr. Mondkar, adding that the State definitely needs more NICU beds as well as trained staff.


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Printable version | Sep 9, 2022 9:39:48 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/johars-twins-put-the-spotlight-on-nicu-beds/article17740459.ece