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NICU: Providing specialised delivery, care and management of newborns

Dr. Jose Salazar, in-charge of the NICU, shares updates on technology and specialists needed in caring for the critically-ill neonates and pre-matures

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital Manila provides a highly specialised care for critical ill neonates and pre-matures for the dependents of the country’s largest maritime union. Neonates refers to the first 28 days of life.

Infants born at less than 32 weeks gestational age and weight less than 1500 grams, as well as critically ill newborns of any gestational age and birth weight, are admitted to the NICU. There are about 100 high-risk neonates admitted annually to the NICU.

AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital Manila’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is classified as Level 3– it performs comprehensive delivery of neonatal care and management of high-risk neonates requiring ventilator support, surgical care, resuscitation, as well as pre-matures.

The NICU is equipped with the technology needed to provide care for the critically ill neonates and pre-matures. A level 3 NICU is a neonatal intensive care unit that is capable of caring for very small or very sick newborn babies. It has a wide variety of staff, including neonatologists, neonatal nurses, and competent hospitalists.

The Department of Pediatrics NICU at Seamen’s Hosptial Manila delivers specialised care to the sick neonates thru the support of the administration. As part of AMOSUP goal to modernize the Seamen’s Hospital Manila, the NICU facilities and equipment have recently been updated. It was also transferred to a new and more spacious area to meet the increasing number of admissions, and was furnished with the latest equipment for the delivery of intensive care.

The Department of Pediatrics goal to keep up with the demands of delivering comprehensive neonatal care requires the personnel to be in the know of the current trends on neonatal care. Hence, AMOSUP sends the hospital’s staff to attend specialty conferences, conventions, seminars and workshops. In-house courses are also conducted for the consultants, hospitalists and the nursing staff.

AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital Manila is an accredited Mother Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFHI) health facility. Advocacies such as breastfeeding, Kangaroo Mother Care, newborn screening (NBS), hearing screening among others are provided.

The Department of Pediatrics Consultant Staff include members belonging to the academe and specialty hospitals. The Union’s hospital has members who are past presidents of their specialty societies, like Dr. Ruby N. Foronda, Past President of the Philippine Society of Pediatric Immunology and Allergy; Dr. Jose B. Salazar, Past President, Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine and the Perinatal Association of the Philippines; Dr. Juliet Balderas, Head, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Philippine Heart Center; and Dr. Ana Ong Lim, Past President Pediatric Infectious Society of the Philippines and current member BOT, Philippine Pediatric Society. The Department of Pediatrics NICU collaborated with the Philippine Heart Center in doing a study on the use of the pulse oximeter in screening critical cardiac conditions in the neonates. SF