Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 17 September, 2020: Latifa Hospital for Women and Children revealed that it’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which is the largest NICU in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, admitted 1058 babies in 2019, compared to 967 in 2018.
Out of the 1058 admissions in the NICU, 31 per cent (329) were preterm babies, in addition to almost 10 per cent (96 babies) with low birth weight due to Intrauterine Growth Retardation.
Dr Mahmoud Saleh El Halik, Consultant Neonatologist and Head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Latifa Hospital revealed that in 2019, the NICU received 11 babies below 500 grams; adding that the smallest was 420 grams.
The hospital has an average of 4000 deliveries per year. The NICU has a highly experienced team that provides care and management for extremely premature babies, some weighing as less as 500 grams, with excellent outcomes.
To cope with the increase in the number of NICU admissions, the hospital’s NICU has increased its capacity over the years and today it has 64 bed, making it the largest NICU in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. It is a referral unit for complicated cases.
The hospital’s NICU unit is part of the Vermont Oxford Network, an international network of NICUs more than 1300 hospitals and countless individuals collaborating to improve neonatal care around the world with data-driven quality improvement and research in neonatal intensive care units of level I, II, & III care centres around the world, against which Latifa Hospital benchmarks itself. According to the Vermont Oxford Network, the hospital has achieved an 85 per cent breastfeeding rate for neonates which is 15 per cent higher than the international average and a significantly equal or better outcome when benchmarked with several other parameters in the network.
The hospital is also a pioneer in Dubai to provide a family room in the hospital’s NICU for extreme premature babies and their mothers. The neonate and the mother stay for a few days prior to discharge from hospital to practice bathing, feeding and routine care for the newborn; which increases the mother’s confidence and is especially helpful in complicated cases. All newborns admitted receive an exceptional involvement of the parents in care mainly through implementing the Kangaroo care for all babies.
Dr El Halik highlighted that there are plans to standardize neonatal care in Dubai through the “Dubai Neonatal Network”, under the Pediatric service line in Dubai Health Authority. The programme has been developed by Latifa Hospital Neonatologists, which is the first of its kind in the region. “The network will retrieve data related to neonatal services in all NICU’s in Dubai to help benchmark neonatal services, collect data and offer comparative analysis and an opportunity for quality improvement projects in different neonatal intensive care units. Implementation will be through the Health regulation department in DHA.
He said that collecting this data will help enhance neonatal care in all NICU’s in the country.
Dr El Halik said that Latifa’s Hospital is equipped with the most advanced neonatal ventilation modes and hemodynamic monitoring run by an expert team of neonatologists that ensure a pioneering neonatal care with considerably excellent outcomes.