'Infant death review' may bring down mortality rate

'Infant death review' may bring down mortality rate

With the new ‘Infant Death Review System’ that has kicked off in full spree this year, every case of infant mortality has a 20 page review attached to it so that the prevalence of such cases can be curtailed in near future.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, D K District Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Officer Dr Rukmini M said that the review system was ordered to be started by the State Government last July and circulars were passed regarding the matter.
However, with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) picking up Dakshina Kannada and Raichur districts for their study on Infant Mortality on pilot basis, the district could organise a sensitisation programme in December 2010 with the funds provided by UNICEF. The programme involved participation from private and government medical firms and the ‘Infant Death Review’ systematically started in January 2011, she said.
According to the new system, any case of infant mortality (child below 1 year) has to be reported to the RCH Officer within 24 hours by the government or private hospital where the death has taken place by submitting a First Information Report (FIR). In case of community death, the FIR has to be submitted by the Primary Health Clinics.
A medical officer will then investigate the case thoroughly by inspecting the child’s previous health records and later by interviewing family members and submit a detailed report within 2 weeks after death.
The report will be studied by an expert panel consisting of expert pediatricians like Dr Santhram Baliga, Dr Vardaraj Shenoy, Dr Balakrishna Rao and later it will be discussed at a sub level committee meeting organised under leadership of District Health Officer.
The positive and negative points will be discussed and the feedback will be sent to the hospitals or PHCs where the death has occurred.
As many as 304 infant deaths have been reported in 2010-11 and 60 have been reported from April 1 to June 30, 2011.
“The infant mortality rate is 13 per cent in 2010-11 which is comparatively higher than the 2009-10 death rate which was 11 per cent,” says Dr Rukmini adding that the higher rate has been reported as the hospitals now clearly send the data, which was earlier hidden by some medical firms in fear of punishment.
“The main aim of the review system is not to find fault but to curtail death prevalence in future,” she says.
She also adds that 50 per cent of the deaths are occurred due to congenital anomalies which cannot be avoided and also because of pre mature delivery. In avoidable causes, the major reason is respiratory tract disorders, informs Dr Rukmini.
“This system is very important in categorising preventable and non preventable disorders and hence lowering such incidences in future,” says District Health Officer Dr O R Srirangappa, speaking to Deccan Herald.

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