Lack of proper neonatal care is a common cause of death among babies born before the 28th week of pregnancy. Preterm babies must receive timely care for their survival. A well-equipped Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) multiplies the chances of a positive outcome. The NICU provides incubator and ventilator facilities to save premature babies. NICU cost per day in India is a crucial factor contributing to the death of premature babies as most parents may not afford the treatment.
Mr. Vijaykumar (name changed) and his wife were on cloud nine after learning the good news that they were about to become parents. Rightly so, Mrs. Vijaykumar was pregnant after eight long years after marriage. The doctor at the infertility center broke the news following the IVF treatment. But their joy was short-lived as the baby was not doing well because of Intrauterine Growth Restriction, a condition hampering blood flow through the umbilical cord.
An emergency C-section delivery at the end of the 28th week resulted in the birth of a baby. The premature baby must remain in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for up to six weeks. Considering the average NICU cost per day in India, individuals like Mr. Vijaykumar must be ready to spend close to Rs 1 lakh, excluding the medical expenses. Parents wish their baby must get world-class medical care. Individuals like Mr. Vijaykumar may not be able to afford the quality treatment and care in NICU departments of reputed pediatric hospitals.
Relevance of NICU
The mother’s womb is the baby’s abode for the entire pregnancy, lasting approximately 37 weeks. The little one depends upon the placenta for its nutrition and growth from conception till delivery. Full-term babies are usually able to cope with the external surroundings after birth. Preterm birth can make it extremely difficult for a newborn to adjust to the environment outside the mother’s womb. Low Birth Weight (LBW) can also result in many problems for newborns.
These babies require immediate admission to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for specialized medical attention by a neonatologist. Parents can look forward to the following advantages while their bundle of joy adjusts to the new environment and recovers well to face the new world.
- Professional medical care for the newborn– Professional staff at NICU is adept in looking after newborn babies. Your baby receives seamless medical attention from certified nurses and neonatologists.
- Enabling recovery of new moms- Childbirth is an exhausting process for the mother who needs time for herself. A child’s NICU admission helps the mother look after her recovery needs.
- Easy access to new moms– New mothers get easy access to the child as close maternal contact is vital for the baby’s growth. It is also necessary for milk production. Depending upon the newborn’s condition, a mother can breastfeed the child or ensure a supply of breast milk to feed the baby.
- Professional maternal support– Mothers receive timely support and professional guidance regarding self-care, diet, and other aspects of motherhood during their baby’s stay in NICU.
Situations that require NICU admission
Babies born through infertility treatment like IVF are more likely to need the support of NICU stay. You need not panic if the gynecologists’ or pediatrician recommends NICU admission for your baby. NICU is an advanced treatment option to help the child become strong enough to face the external environment.
Out of ten births, one to two babies may need NICU admission because of various reasons. Special machines and other NICU equipment help preterm babies gain weight. The following are some reasons why a doctor may suggest NICU admission:
- Birth complications – There is a possibility of cord complications resulting in foetal distress. Inability to breathe normally after the delivery may require NICU admission to restore normal breathing.
- LBW babies– Babies born before completion of full-term or with less than 1750 gm weight during birth need admission to NICU
- Mother’s health status– A newborn may need NICU treatment if the mother suffers from lifestyle disorders like hypertension and diabetes. Mothers with a record of substance abuse may deliver a preterm baby or a baby with critical problems that call for the NICU stay.
- Neonatal jaundice– Newborns may suffer from the rise in bilirubin levels. The condition requires phototherapy to reduce the bilirubin levels to normal. Phototherapy equipment is a part of the NICU setup.
Charges are higher than regular paediatric wards as the average NICU cost per day in India varies as per the type of special equipment like:
- Infusion pump
The charges also depend upon the number of days a child has to stay in the NICU.
NICU Cost per Day in India- a few insights
Incidences of premature babies requiring NICU admission are rising as around 10 to 12 babies out of 100 may require a stay in NICU. A leading hospital in Mumbai handles close to 9000 deliveries annually. Close to 10 or 12 percent of babies are born in the 24th or 25th week of pregnancy. The preterm babies are severely underweight and must stay in the NICU for survival.
The following are a few details of NICU cost per day in India according to the preterm baby’s health condition:
- Basic NICU care– Average NICU charges Rs 5000/- per day. The baby receives warming, phototherapy to treat jaundice, and antibiotic treatment to ward off infections.
- Medium-range NICU care– Average NICU charges Rs 7000/- per day. Babies requiring the support of a mechanical ventilator with a birth weight of approximately 1500 gm need mid-range NICU care. It also involves treatment for conditions like seizures, jaundice, congenital issues, and congestive heart failure, among others.
- Advanced NICU care– Average NICU cost per day in India for advanced treatment may be around Rs 8000/-. The advanced treatment is suitable for low birth weight babies weighing around 1200 gm. It involves invasive ventilator support, special treatment for cardiac complications, kidney disorders, birth abnormalities, and infection control.
- Critical NICU care– Preterm babies weighing less than 1200 gm or having heart problems, kidney, and other systems may need critical care. The cost of stay can be as high as Rs 10,000/-.
The chances of a baby’s survival are significantly higher because of NICU admission.
Most IVF pregnancies result in the birth of premature babies. The rise in IVF pregnancies and infertility treatments is a significant reason for a higher number of preterm deliveries.
NICU facilities improve outcomes in such situations as the baby receives treatment from neonatologists and experienced nursing staff.
Medical Crowdfunding- a suitable option
It is difficult for parents to come to terms with the prospect of their newborn being alone in an incubator in the company of humming and beeping sounds of machines. In addition, NICU cost per day in India and other hospital expenses can be devastating for parents who are already in distress. A premature baby stays in NICU for up to 20 days. The total hospital charges with the medicines are usually in the range of Rs one to two lakhs. If the child has a breathing difficulty or condition of heart, kidney, and sepsis, the cost can be much higher.
Unfortunately, average citizens have no access to universal healthcare. The lack of advanced infrastructure at government-run hospitals forces parents to explore the option of private hospitals. For most parents, the normal NICU cost per day in India may not be affordable. Explaining the medical situation and the financial condition is not easy under such circumstances. Parents feel embarrassed to ask for financial support during a medical emergency. Online Crowdfunding platforms can help them save their baby’s life by financing the NICU expenses. Reliable Crowdfunding platforms like Ketto save millions of lives by funding healthcare expenses in medical emergencies.
The treatment is expensive as NICU cost per day in India can run in thousands. The treatment costs can be overwhelming even for middle-class families. Insurance policies may not be adequate. Online fundraising platforms are effective alternatives to raise money for saving the life of a preterm child needing NICU admission.
Medical Crowdfunding saves parents who need to pay NICU and other hospital expenses from falling into debt traps. A crowdfunding platform can approach millions of eager donors on your behalf to raise the necessary funds within a few days. You can start a medical fundraiser for NICU treatment of your baby by choosing a top-rated online platform like Ketto. Approaching a reliable Crowdfunding platform in time is crucial to generating a timely response.
Preterm babies with low birth weight need NICU admission as their organs are under-developed. NICU admission and treatment by expert neonatologists improve outcomes in these medical emergencies. Normal NICU cost per day in India can be between Rs 5000/- to Rs 10,000/-.
The cost is justifiable considering the advanced equipment and critical medical services available in these intensive care units. Managing funds to pay NICU expenses can be difficult for most parents. Approaching a Crowdfunding platform appears to be a suitable alternative. Established Crowdfunding services offer free fundraising for medical emergencies with the support of a dedicated fundraiser manager at every step.
Visit https://www.ketto.org to deal with the unaffordable NICU cost per day in India
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