More preemies requiring medical help

THE NUMBER of prematurely born babies, babies with congenital anomalies or difficult post-partum adaptation is increasing in Slovakia.

Health care is one of risks in the general government budget in terms of revenues and spending.Health care is one of risks in the general government budget in terms of revenues and spending. (Source: Sme)

In the past about 450 children were annually hospitalised at the Neonatology Clinic of Intensive Care (NKIM) of Comenius University’s Medical Faculty and Children’s Teaching Hospital Bratislava but now it is much more.

“Their numbers keep growing gradually; now we are coming closer to 500 from the original 450,” Dana Dolníková from the clinic told the TASR newswire.

Even though the birth rate in Slovakia is not growing markedly, children who need highly-specialised help from experts are ever more numerous. Dolníková said this is due to more women commonly postponing pregnancy, by the fact that women who would have stayed childless in earlier periods are now bearing children, and because ill youths now survive until an age when they can become parents.

“But this is a global trend,” Dolníková stressed, also citing techniques of assisted reproduction as a reason, because multiple pregnancies are more frequent and result in a higher risk of premature birth.

Children born prematurely are treated in six premi-centres across Slovakia but all premature babies eventually end up at the Bratislava clinic because it is the only facility to diagnose and treat an immature retina, which tends to peel off and is typical for prematurely-born babies.

Dolníková added that staff at the clinic can help most prematurely born children to have a normal life, noting that the tiniest baby weighed only 390 grams at birth. However, some problems connected to premature birth only appear later, like a higher incidence of brain activity disorders, dysgraphia or dyslexia.

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