Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1993  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-9  

Status of neonatal intensive care units in India.

A Fernandez, JA Mondkar 
 Dept. of Paediatrics, LTMG Hospital, Bombay, Maharashtra.

Correspondence Address:
A Fernandez
Dept. of Paediatrics, LTMG Hospital, Bombay, Maharashtra.

Neonatal mortality in India accounts for 50% of infant mortality, which has declined to 84/1000 live births. There is no prenatal care for over 50% of pregnant women, and over 80% deliver at home in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Those women who do deliver in health facilities are unable to receive intensive neonatal care when necessary. Level I and Level II neonatal care is unavailable in most health facilities in India, and in most developing countries. There is a need in India for Level III care units also. The establishment of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in India and developing countries would require space and location, finances, equipment, staff, protocols of care, and infection control measures. Neonatal mortality could be reduced by initially adding NICUs at a few key hospitals. The recommendation is for 30 NICU beds per million population. Each bed would require 50 square feet per cradle and proper climate control. Funds would have to be diverted from adult care. The largest expenses would be in equipment purchase, maintenance, and repair. Trained technicians would be required to operate and monitor the sophisticated ventilators and incubators. The nurse-patient ratio should be 1:1 and 1:2 for other infants. Training mothers to work in the NICUs would help ease the problems of trained nursing staff shortages. Protocols need not be highly technical; they could include the substitution of radiant warmers and room heaters for expensive incubators, the provision of breast milk, and the reduction of invasive procedures such as venipuncture and intubation. Nocosomial infections should be reduced by vacuum cleaning and wet mopping with a disinfectant twice a day, changing disinfectants periodically, maintaining mops to avoid infection, decontamination of linen, daily changing of tubing, and cleaning and sterilizing oxygen hoods and resuscitation equipment, and maintaining an iatrogenic infection record book, which could be used to study the infection patterns and to apply the appropriate antibiotics.

How to cite this article:
Fernandez A, Mondkar J A. Status of neonatal intensive care units in India. J Postgrad Med 1993;39:57-9

How to cite this URL:
Fernandez A, Mondkar J A. Status of neonatal intensive care units in India. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1993 [cited 2022 May 26 ];39:57-9
Available from:;year=1993;volume=39;issue=2;spage=57;epage=9;aulast=Fernandez;type=0

Thursday, May 26, 2022
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