Sun | Feb 5, 2023

CMO details PAHO findings on special care nurseries

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2023 | 2:38 PM

Jamaica's chief medical officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, says four major deficiencies were identified at all three special care nursery facilities assessed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) during its technical mission last October.

Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children, and Spanish Town Hospital were the public health facilities visited by PAHO. 

Technical assistance was sought from PAHO regarding infection prevention and control measures, amid a bacterial outbreak that claimed the lives of newborns at Victoria Jubilee Hospital last year. 

The CMO said the report found that there was understaffing, especially among nursing care personnel. 

“No medication preparation area where medications are aseptically admixed or fractionated was found and we are working to address that,” she said during a presentation on PAHO's report on special care nurseries during a media briefing at Terra Nova Hotel in St Andrew this afternoon. 

Bisasor-McKenzie detailed that medications were stored or mixed in patient care areas and it was also observed that opened medication vials were not dated or labelled. 

She said storage of cleaning items was inadequate and there was also inadequate separation between infants. 

Meanwhile, the CMO shared that the 12 newborns who died from bacterial infections at Victoria Jubilee Hospital were in respiratory distress at birth. 

Further, she said two-thirds of them were premature and 92 percent had a low birth rate or a low Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration (APGAR) score. 

She noted that all the neonates had to have an invasive procedure and of that number, 80 percent had two or more procedures including mechanical ventilation. 

Additionally, three babies had congenital anomalies and one baby was a multiple gestation - a pregnancy with more than one baby. 

- Judana Murphy

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