Styrofoam incubator “an alternative method”, says atoll hospital

Manager of Noonu Atoll hospital Mohamed Najeeb has said that carrying a baby inside a styrofoam box in certain circumstances was not a big issue, and had been used in the previous years as an alternative method to transfer babies in critical conditions when an incubator was unavailable.

Last week some doctors criticised Noonu Atoll Hospital after doctors at the hospital transferred a newborn baby in a critical medical condition to Male’ inside a styrofoam box, because the hospital did not have an incubator.

“In past years in several workshops they taught us this method and said it could be used as an alternative when an incubator was unavailable,” Najeeb said. “We know of two methods that could be used in situations like this: one is to wrap the baby with cloth while transferring him, or to carry him inside a box,’’ Najeeb told Minivan News. ‘’The towel method was not fit for the baby’s situation because the baby was having seizures.’’

He said the baby was sent to Male’ with oxygen and nurses from Noonu Atoll Hospital, and the hospital decided to use the box method to maintain the infant’s temperature because they were travelling a speedboat and the winds would be high.

He also said that when dealing with such cases the method has been proven to be suitable, adding that the baby was transferred to Male’ without his condition deteriorating.

“The latest I heard about the baby was that Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) had asked the baby’s parents to take him abroad for more treatment,’’ Najeeb said.

Director General of Health Services Dr Ibrahim Yasir meanwhile said the Health Ministry was investigating the case.

“The situation does not appear to be abnormal, the doctor has even advised that a styrofoam box can be a suitable substitute for an incubator,” Dr Yasir said.

“There is shortage of incubators, which is being considered in the investigation. We are trying to find out if the doctor’s recommendation can be approved.”