Maternity ward performs well despite challenges
February 18, 2011
Maternity ward performs well despite challenges

Staff at the maternity and child health department at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) continue to perform well despite the challenges.{{more}}

This was the view expressed last Friday, February 11, at the 15th Annual Perinatal Conference held at the Methodist Church Hall by various departmental heads and members of staff as they provided reports for the year 2010.

Overcrowding and shortage of certain critical drugs were some of the issues identified as those hindering the continued delivery of proper health care.

Sister Faustina Ballantyne, Head of the Maternity and Child Health Department, in her report noted that overcrowding in the maternity ward, particularly during the peak period, was an issue.

Sr Ballantyne noted that in 2010, there were 2,912 admissions to and 2,820 discharges from the maternity ward.

“The usual peak season brings fast turnover of patients, hence the limited ward space,” she said, adding that the staff often resorted to the use of corridors to accommodate the large numbers of patients.

Similar inadequacies were reported from other members of staff, including Dr Bernadette Scott, Medical Officer in the Paediatric Department.

According to Scott, the department suffered from some disruptions during 2010, particularly the move into a now fully functional Neonatal Intensive-care Unit (NICU).

But she noted that there were also issues with the shortage of critical medical apparatus.

She identified blood culture bottles and intravenous fluids as two examples.

Dr Nikeisha Lewis, Medical Officer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said that there were instances where RhoGAM vaccines were unavailable.

The vaccine is administered to pregnant women to prevent the immunological condition known as Rhesus disease.

“These women, although (they) are sent back to the districts, say that they can’t get the injection, and these mothers become high risk,” Dr Lewis explained.

She noted the importance of the medical stores stocking up on the important drug.

Lewis continued saying that often the department has had to rely on private pharmacies to supply the vaccine, but at a cost of $525, the medical practitioner was of the opinion that it is too expensive for some. (DD)