Patient Safety and Neonatal Care in India: Challenges and Opportunities

  • A former British nurse’s recent conviction emphasises the importance of patient safety in healthcare institutions.
  • While there are no strict standards governing neonatal safety, there are procedures in place to ensure the well-being of babies and reduce potential dangers.

Patient Safety Provisions in India

  • Patient safety is defined as freedom from injury or potential harm related with healthcare provision, according to the ‘National Patient Safety Implementation Framework (2018-2025).’
  • Legal Protection: Patients in India are protected by a variety of laws, including the Consumer Protection Act, the Clinical Establishment Act, and mechanisms established by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and the Drugs Controller General of India to protect their rights.
  • Fragmented Laws: From the Hippocratic Oath to clinical establishment standards, patient safety is governed by a variety of laws, indicating a varied approach to ensuring safe healthcare practises.

Neonatal Safety and Care

  • Proactive Measures: While there are no exclusive standards for neonatal care, mechanisms are in place to address concerns such as mix-ups and abductions. Deliberate harm is extremely rare and is frequently associated with complicated psychological conditions.
  • Staffing, equipment, infection control, parental involvement, training, and continuing medical education are all part of the complete provisions that ensure neonatal safety.
  • Human Errors: In a society with a high birth rate, human errors in newborn care are possible, although premeditated, deliberate injury is an unusual occurrence.

Neonatal Health Challenges

  • Despite a decrease in global neonatal fatalities, babies face the greatest risk of death within the first 28 days of life. A considerable number of deaths among children under the age of five occur during the neonatal period.
  • India’s Situation: While infant mortality in India is continuously decreasing, preterm birth, problems during birth, infections, and birth defects continue to be major causes of neonatal fatalities.
  • Improving newborn Survival: Providing good newborn care and addressing critical obstacles will help reduce neonatal mortality rates and improve child health outcomes.

Increasing Neonatal Safety

  • Professional midwives who provide midwife-led continuity of care (MLCC) dramatically minimise the incidence of newborn and pre-term birth. This method emphasises the significance of expert care during childbirth and the postoperative period.
  • Seeking Prompt Medical Attention: Families are recommended to seek prompt medical attention in the event of danger indications in infants, as well as to adhere to immunisation schedules for timely protection. This proactive strategy aids in the prevention and management of potential neonatal health concerns.
  • Providing Appropriate Training: Appropriate training of healthcare providers, particularly those in neonatal services, is critical for sustaining high-quality treatment and adhering to safety regulations.

@the end

  • A strong healthcare system is built on patient safety and newborn care.
  • To secure the best outcomes for society’s youngest members, the problems of neonatal care necessitate continual attention, collaboration, and innovation.
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