Himachal’s telemedicine to rescue of mother, newborn in Lahaul-Spiti

Due to logistics and terrain constraints, the mother and child were treated at Kaza community health centre for six days with round-the-clock monitoring
The mother and her newborn daughter at Mission Hospital in Manali, six days after treatment via telemedicine in the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Kaza. The condition of both is stable now. (HT Photo)
The mother and her newborn daughter at Mission Hospital in Manali, six days after treatment via telemedicine in the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Kaza. The condition of both is stable now. (HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 09, 2021 12:34 PM IST
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The telemedicine programme of the Himachal Pradesh government helped save the lives of a mother and her newborn in the remote Kaza town of tribal Lahaul-Spiti district, the health department said on Thursday.

The state government runs the telemedicine programme in Lahaul-Spiti in collaboration with Apollo Telehealth.

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The mother, a 27-year-old woman, was admitted to the community health centre (CHC) at Kaza and was diagnosed with abruptio placentae, a complication in which the placenta detaches from the uterus. While a Caesarean section was performed to deliver the baby girl, the mother developed complications of post-surgical bleeding.

Dr A Khakhar, the gynaecologist at Apollo Hospitals who was consulted to manage the complication, said: “We obtained the detailed patient history, performed a thorough examination over telemedicine and diagnosed the condition as post-partum haemorrhage.”

Timely clinical management

She advised doctors at the CHC on the line of treatment for clinical management of the patient. Complications were also starting to show effects on the baby as the delivery was preterm and the infant was born with low body weight. The baby had bluish discolouration at birth. To stabilise the newborn’s condition, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was advised for two minutes followed by other emergency clinical management procedures. However, the child continued to have intermittent low blood sugar levels.

As the condition of the infant continued to deteriorate, paediatrician Dr Latha Vishwanathan advised the staff to administer IV fluid and NG (nasogastric) feeding; monitor oxygen saturation and random blood sugar (RBS) levels regularly. The government emergency duty doctor monitored the baby, under the guidance of a senior paediatrician from Apollo.

Condition stable in Manali

The difficulty in arranging logistics for the movement of the patients given the terrain constraints, both the mother and child had to be managed for six days with round-the-clock monitoring.

Meanwhile, the mother developed pedal oedema or accumulation of fluid in the feet and lower legs. Finally, after arranging for logistics support, both the mother and the baby were shifted to Mission Hospital in Manali where they were admitted. Their condition stabilised a day after the initial treatment procedures.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021