Friday, February 23, 2018

Govt spends nearly $1m on aftercare

Close to $1 million was spent on the aftercare of the sextuplets since their birth at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The cost for the babies’ care is separate from the near $5 million which was spent on purchasing equipment for the NICU in preparation for the sextuplets.

According to official documents from the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) obtained by the Express, some $882,495 was spent for the month of March for the babies’ after-care.

The babies were delivered via Caesarian section on March 4 by a team of over 40 staff members.

Two of the babies have since died due to complications associated with premature births.

A senior health official told the Express that because the babies were premature, being just 30 weeks, special aftercare was needed, which meant round-the-clock monitoring.

From March to May, some $184,455 was spent to roster additional nurses to care for the babies. Each baby required three nurses per day on a shift system at the NICU.

A total of $388,800 was spent to pay doctors, which included a team of consultants, registrars and house doctors.

Each baby was attended to by a team of three doctors.

Consumable costs, which included nutrition, intravenous feeds on ventilation, daily blood investigations and transfusions, surfactant and medication, totalled $310,241.

On March 30, the first-born boy, Kaelan, died. The baby was critically ill since birth and succumbed to upper gastrointestinal bleeding. On April 16, the youngest of the six, Paeton Christopher, died after developing an infection. 

Three of the babies have been discharged but baby Persia—the fifth to be born—remains in the NICU.