‘No more baby swapping cases at Cheluvamba Hospital’

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MYSORE, November 15:   Cheluvamba Hospital, one of the oldest hospitals for women and children attached to Mysore Medical College and Research Institute here, has managed to overcome complaints of exchange of newborn babies.

Krishnamurthy, hospital superintendent, told The Hindu that no cases of baby exchange had been reported at the hospital in the past two years.

Innovative steps

Two digital screens had been put up outside labour wards where details such as in-patient number, date of delivery, time of delivery, sex of the child, parents’ name, their address, and the picture of the baby will be displayed immediately after the delivery. “This addresses the curiosity of family members too,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said.

Also, tamper-proof bands are tied to the babies’ wrists for identification. Each band consists of details such as the names of the baby’s parents, sex of the baby, its weight and so on.

“It is tied to the baby’s wrist by the nursing staff in the presence of a doctor,” he said. On average, 40 deliveries take place in two labour rooms at the hospital.

Each labour room will have about 20 persons, including doctors and nursing staff, for performing deliveries. Most of the cases are from rural areas.

Dr. Krishnamurthy said: “Earlier, we used to get one or two complaints of exchange of babies from parents and their family members. Today, there is no scope for such complaints.”

When this correspondent visited the hospital, a duty doctor said: “The family members and their relatives, who wait outside, need not have to struggle to get the information.”

Meanwhile, like K.R. Hospital, Cheluvamba Hospital too is overcrowded with patients.

At least 50 patients are forced to sleep daily on the ground because of lack of beds.

More beds

“On average, 200 to 250 beds are occupied daily by the mothers with their newborn babies. We need to keep the mothers and babies for at least three days from the date of delivery. Sometimes, there will be no beds for the pregnant women who come for deliveries,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said. The State government is considering the hospital’s proposal for adding another 100 beds.

A sum of Rs. 1.8 crore has been sanctioned for building a 100-bed block above the building housing the gynaecology out-patient department on the hospital premises.

“Once the block is ready, we are hopeful of addressing the scarcity of beds to some extent,” the superintendent added.

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