The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Machine aid for childbirth

With the introduction of a machine, called Cardio Tocography (CTG), doctors can now detect the position of the foetus a day or even hours before the birth.

The CTG was handed over to Balananda Brahmachari Hospital and Research Centre, in Behala, one of the few hospitals in eastern India to have such a sophisticated gadget brought from Switzerland.

A survey says every year, nearly 60 women die due to childbirth complications. With the aid of transfusers, attached to monitors in the CTG, doctors can check the foetal heart rate and the uterine pressure of the mother. The machine will also help doctors choose between Caesarian section and normal delivery.

“The CTG will go a long way in reducing the mortality rate,” said Sekhar Chattopadhyay, general secretary, S.B. Devi Charity Home (SDCH), an NGO, which has donated the machine to the hospital. “It will now give us a ringside view of the womb,” said Dr Chandan Chattopadhyay, one of the few doctors to take training in operating the machine.

Officials of SDCH, which happens to be the foundation board of a joint development project between Switzerland and India, said they have been working on labour-pain service, or making childbirth less painful, through modern techniques, including insertion of a special (epidoral) catheter in the mother. “Our idea is to make childbirth easier. We have taken training from Switzerland on this aspect,” Chattopadhyay added.

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