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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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High-risk clinic for infants in city

Cuttack, Feb. 24: An exclusive high-risk clinic has been started at Sardar Vallabhai Patel Institute of Paediatrics, popularly known as Sishu Bhavan.

The clinic is the first-of-its-kind in any medical set up in the state. It will extensively deal with follow-up treatment of newborns that are diagnosed with problems at birth and congenital defects.The high-risk clinic started functioning last week after it received the approval of the health and family welfare department.

“The clinic will meet the special needs of the newborns discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital,” said the in-charge of the high-risk clinic associate professor Pravakar Mishra. According to Mishra, the clinic will function twice a week — on Monday and Wednesday. So far, 13 cases have been registered and the newborns diagnosed with various congenital defects are being provided with necessary treatment.

Mishra said the high-risk clinic would ensure systematic monitoring of the general health and neurodevelopmental outcome of the newborns after their discharge from the hospital. Such monitoring would help the physicians to identify problems at an early stage and provide treatment.

“My son was suffering from low birth weight and the doctors advised us to undergo further medical check ups which would be helpful in overcoming such problems,” said Shakuntala Swain.

Usually infants with low birth weight, neonatal illness, intervention received in the NICU and presence of malformations fall into the categories of high-risk infants.

Experts say that infants, who falling into the category of high-risk infants, would require a multi-discipline approach involving a team of doctors, including paediatricians, paediatric neurologists and ophthalmologists.

There was a need for such a clinic, as the high-risk infants usually have to attend the general outpatient departments amidst heavy crowd. There they are at risk of contracting infection. Hospital authorities said records of the infants, who will have to undergo follow-up treatment after their discharge, are being maintained.

Similarly, counselling of parents is also a needed to ensure that they take adequate care of their babies’ requirement in terms of feeding, diet, vaccinations and other medication.

“Depending on the disease, each infant will have to come to the clinic for proper treatment of their congenital defects and other related diseases,” Mishra said.