In an effort to raise awareness on premature births and shine light on neonatal care practices to improve clinicaloutcomes, Dr DeepaHariharan, NICU Head at Sooriya Hospitals, released a key set of findingsat an event. The event,organized to mark World Prematurity Day,also featured a sharing of experiences by champions of prematurity and the release of a book Small Actions, Big Impact. Squash champion DeepikaPallikalKarthikalso shared her experience.
The research report titled Oral Motor Intervention In NICU:Brain And Speech Exercises in NICU Improve Outcomeswaspresented by Dr Deepa at the annual meeting of the prestigious European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology at Vienna earlier this year. The findings shed light on the benefits of Oral Motor Intervention (OMI) techniques such as stroking, massaging the mouth and lips for speech and brain developmentand other interventions by certified speech therapists.
Dr DeepaHariharan, Senior Consultant Neonatologist, Sooriya Hospital, said, “I am pleased to be sharing the findings that are of key relevance to the neonatal critical care space. Infants are an extremely vulnerablecategorymy team and I embarked on this vigorous research exercise as we felt there was a dire need toeducate stakeholders on OMI techniques and improveclinical outcomes.”
Asurvey by the Indian Foundation for Premature Babies showed that of the 2150 pregnant women surveyed, only 22% were aware of the risk of prematurity. Of the 1020 women who delivered premature babies, only 17% were prepared for the logistics of NICU stay (such as the choice of NICU, separation of mother and baby, transport, finances and prolonged leave from work). In 1/3rd of the cases, the “golden hour” was spent overcoming the shock of the baby being born in a premature state.