Amidst COVID-19 scare, Cheluvamba delivers

In the midst of a grim situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mysuru-based State-run Cheluvamba Hospital for women and children, one of the oldest in the region, handled a record number of deliveries during the lockdown and after the restrictions were eased.

Doctors performed deliveries of women who otherwise could have afforded hospitalisation in private hospitals. After some private hospitals refused to handle the cases amidst the scare, Cheluvamba admitted such cases and safely delivered the babies, much to the appreciation of the anxious families.

In May alone, the hospital performed 1,060 deliveries, a record of sorts in the recent years, with pregnant women from Mysuru district and also from neighbouring districts referred here. An average of 850-900 deliveries had been performed since March.

There used to be days when 70-plus deliveries, including nearly 50 per cent of C-sections, had been conducted.

The hospital, which is attached to the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, had delivered 15,000 babies in 2013 and nearly the same number or slightly lesser number of deliveries had been handled in the successive years with the sharp rise in referrals. Another reason for setting up the high dependency unit (HDU) at the Cheluvamba was that it witnesses the highest number of deliveries in the State.

With the introduction of new SOPs and the number of deliveries up in private hospitals, the number at Cheluvamba had come down marginally. Drop in patients referred from other districts is also cited as reason with deliveries performed in taluk hospitals following the availability of gynaecologists and anaesthetists. Usually, around 80 per cent of pregnancy cases referred to Cheluvamba come with high risks and most newborns require intensive care.

After a couple of women tested positive to COVID-19 after delivering babies, deliveries of infected patients shifted to a dedicated maternity hospital which was later designated as the COVID-19 Hospital.

Cheluvamba Hospital Medical Superintendent Pramila said doctors and the entire staff of the hospital had been working continuously since the health emergency triggered from the pandemic began. “We are performing deliveries at two hospitals and same set of doctors are managing the show. We are hopeful of getting gynaecologists posted from the Department of Health and Family Welfare to the maternity hospital to ease the load on Cheluvamba doctors,” she said.

Dr. Pramila, who is the head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI), told The Hindu that the hospital performed 860 deliveries in March; 850-plus deliveries in April; 1,060 in May; 830 in June and 700 deliveries in July.

“I presume referrals dropped in July after patients chose deliveries in their taluks and private hospitals started handling the cases. If the services get furthermore activated, they would come down further. Cheluvamba doctors worked on rotational basis handling the tasks at two hospitals amidst the pandemic,” she said.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 11:43:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/amidst-covid-19-scare-cheluvamba-delivers/article32287267.ece

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