St George’s University, Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Sabaratnam Arulkumar said that lack of supply of oxygen during labour is one of the causes for the babies to be born with cerebral problems leading to mental retardation and the level should be closely monitored for normal delivery.
He said it during the Kamalam Ramasamy Udayar Oration on Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The oration was held as a part of Refresh 2017, a three day all India summer conference on Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Sri Ramachandra University.
Speaking on the importance of monitoring oxygen supply to the foetus, the doctor said normally during contraction oxygen supply from the mother to the baby decreases.
‘A healthy baby must have adequate reserves to cope with labour,’ he said.
Speaking on the importance of Cardiotocography (CTG) , which is the continuous evaluation of the baby’s heart beat when the mother is in labour, the doctor said ‘CTG readings which look like ECG on paper, show the speeding and slowing of the baby’s heartbeat, thus helping the obstetrician to predict whether the baby is getting sufficient oxygen.’
Arulkumar also added that not all events of the cerebral problem are caused by labour complications due to decreased oxygen supply.
He said ‘ It can also be due to pre-existing conditions of infections, brain haemorrhage or genetic problems.’
He also added that handheld Doppler machines can be modified by companies to make provisions for CTG thus making them available to smaller centres at lower cost, thus bringing the state of the art fetal care system to the masses.
Sri Ramachandra University, Dean, K V Somasundaram, Obstetrics and Gynecology, HOD, Usha Rani and faculties were also present during the oration.