Supporting the Da Nang Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Da Nang Hospital for Women & Children – Opened in April 2011
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Da Nang Hospital was established in 1982 to manage medical and surgical newborns. Da Nang is designated as a neonatal training centre for the central region of Vietnam. The neonatal unit moved to the new Da Nang Hospital for Women & Children in April 2011.
There are around 14,000 deliveries a year in the maternity department at the new Da Nang Hospital for Women & Children and many are high risk and involve complications. If babies are very sick or premature they are cared for in the NICU and later maybe looked after with their mother in the high dependency unit (HDU).
The NICU admits over 250 neonates (newborns less than 29 days old) per month from inborn patients, referrals from other hospitals and direct admissions from the community. It is estimated that 40% of the NICU admissions are from the provinces. Criteria for the inborn babies admitted into the NICU are newborns under 2,000 grams and sick newborns of any weight or gestation. All sick neonates (under 29 days) born in Da Nang are referred to the NICU as well as critically ill neonates from the surrounding provinces such as Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Kon Tum provinces.
Despite year on year improvements in the care of critically ill neonates, newborn care is not optimal. There are too few doctors and nurses who are appropriately trained in newborn care and specifically the care sick/low birth weight newborns. The lack of staff and critical shortage of nurses and equipment as well as limited knowledge are major factors in why the mortality rate remains high – read more about why newborns die…