The neonatal division is staffed by a team of subspecialists who provide tertiary medical and surgical care for the 61,000 infants born annually in the eastern Cape Town Metropole and the designated drainage area of the rural Western Cape. In addition secondary level care is provided to the 29,000 infants born in the eastern Cape Town Metropole.
The neonatal service can accommodate 134 babies for inpatient care. There are 8 NICU and 4 High Care beds as well as 122 neonatal beds. Thirty of these are for Kangaroo Mother Care. Four to five hundred babies are admitted annually to the NICU of which a third are surgical patients. The NICU has access to a wide range of sophisticated equipment including nitric oxide, aEEG monitors and ultrasound machines.Our expertise ranges from surfactant lavage for meconium aspiration, therapeutic hypothermia for asphyxiated infants and non-invasive ventilatory support for infants with Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The TBH neonatal service pioneered the provision of non-invasive ventilatory support in a general ward setting, and recently published the outcomes of infants receiving this treatment Workshops for paediatricians on high frequency oscillation and non-invasive ventilatory support of infants are conducted bi-annually. The Unit is registered as a training unit for neonatologists.
The neonatal developmental follow-up programme provides long-term neurodevelopmental assessment for all the very low birth weight and asphyxiated infants.
Research projects include outcome of asphyxiated infants treated with cooling, neonatal nutrition, neonatal TB as well as treatment of HIV exposed and infected very low birth weight infants.