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Other news - Monday, 19 November, 2018

World Prematurity Day – 17 November

17 November is World Prematurity Day; in Europe the attention is called to this day since 2008, in Hungary since 2014. This day everything becomes purple: the lightings of buildings are of this colour, people who are touched by the fate of the premature babies pin purple strips on their clothes, or even wear purple clothes.

The staff of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology prematurity department put purple balloons in the department’s courtyard and this year they welcomed the celebrating families in the sports hall. Every year more and more people participate in these familiar gatherings, they sing together with the colleagues of the “Ringató”, they reminisce, talk, share their experiences with each other, and they also visit the department where once their children were treated.

“With events such as these we call the attention of politicians, of people working in health care, and of the whole society to the fact that there are many premature babies these days too” – said Dr. Funke Simone, associate professor, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology neonatology department; who added that in 2014 due to a European Union tender the standard of treatment improved a lot with the modernization of machinery in the Pécs clinic as well as in the other intensive prematurity departments in the country. They could purchase state-of-the-art incubators, medical ventilators and infusion pumps. Partly due to this, the number of infant deaths dropped below 4 per thousand last year. Dr. Funke Simone emphasizes that the early development of these babies and the significance of aftercare are at least as important as saving them. Their further quality of life depends on it.

The expert said that the approach has changed a lot too: the parents are welcomed more and more openly in the department, they attach great importance to kangaroo care; namely, when the parent places her baby on her chest, helping this way the attachment to each other and the breast milk production. If the child’s condition allows it, the mothers are involved in changing the diapers, and in measuring the blood pressure. Furthermore, physical exercises, massage, caress, and singing to the baby are also important.

In general, there are 30 babies in the 32-bed department, but it can occur that there are even more. The premature babies in the South-Transdanubia region belong to the clinic as well, and also those who were born elsewhere but need intensive care. Last year 400 premature babies were in the care of the department, there were a hundred of them whose birth weight was under 1500 grams.

 “In thirty-forty percent of the cases we do not know the reason why the birth begins earlier, in a further thirty percent the process must be started due to the mother’s illnesses – high blood pressure, diabetes –, most of the twin births end in premature births, in the rest of the cases the social conditions are responsible” – says the expert.

According to Dr. Funke Simone, it is rejoicing that the death rate of the babies born under 1500 grams is under 10 percent today as well as the fact that 60 percent of premature babies can live their lives as healthy adults. At the same time, she said it is unfortunate that less and less young people decide to work in intensive care, which is mostly reflected in the shortage of nurses.  

 

Rita Schweier

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