| The paediatrics unit of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) has started a dedicated paediatrics emergency unit much to the relief of parents of critically ill children.
Earlier, this unit was jointly run with the emergency ward of the medicine department and hapless parents did not know where to head to with their kids.
The paediatrics department of NMCH is already running a neonatal intensive care unit and a paediatric intensive care unit. While the former is dedicated to the treatment of newborns and children up to the age of two months, the latter looks after the treatment of children aged between two months and 14 years. However, both the units are situated in different buildings.
Dr A.K. Thakur, the head of the paediatrics department, said: “Now, people coming for treatment of their kids at NMCH would not have to face problems. Whether it is a newborn baby or a 10-year-old child, all can be taken to the paediatrics emergency wing.”
He said: “There are 10 beds in the paediatrics emergency unit. At any time, three doctors and two nurses would be available. Very soon, we would bring in another nurse. There is also a gas pipeline attached to the suction machine beside each bed to fulfil the oxygen requirement of each and every child. We would install monitors for every bed to detect respiratory problems, blood pressure and heartbeat.”
He added: “Very soon, we would get two machines from the Bihar Medical Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited — a semi-auto analyser machine (it can conduct around 140 tests, including blood) and a cell calculator machine which can carry out tests like total count and differential count). Both machines are worth around Rs 10 lakh. We would also get around 25 ventilators from Bihar Medical Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited. If any child needs to be put on ventilators, we would shift him/her to either the paediatric intensive care unit or the neonatal intensive unit. Both are equipped with four ventilators each.”
Sources said if all goes according to plan, the paediatrics emergency unit of NMCH would become the best such ward among the state-run hospitals. Dr Thakur said the wing would be a boon for the poor. “Treatment would be provided for free. For treatment at neonatal intensive care or paediatric intensive care units in any private hospital, one has to shell out around Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000 per day.”
Dr Santosh Kumar, the NMCH superintendent, said the hospital would soon develop a park on the campus to provide a friendly environment for children. Apart from the usual swing and seesaw, some rides would also be set up.