This service is equivalent to a Level III B Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Manipal Hospitals
Bengaluru, September 1, 2023: The first few hours and days of a newborn’s life are critical, especially for those born pre-term or with congenital medical conditions. These babies are exceptionally vulnerable to the outside world. Regular transportation can expose them to potential shocks, temperature fluctuations, and undue stress, exacerbating existing conditions or introducing new complications.
Keeping this in mind, Manipal Hospitals, today, rolled out MARS-NOW – Manipal Ambulance Response Service – Neonatal-care on Wheels (NOW), a groundbreaking initiative that is set to redefine neonatal care across Bangalore and beyond. Being one of the most comprehensive neonatal transport services in Bangalore, MARS-NOW aims to provide continuous medical support to infants who require emergency NICU care while on their way to the hospital. This transportation service will be available not only to patients visiting Manipal Hospitals but also to those in need residing in Bangalore and peripheral regions of Karnataka.
Shri Dinesh Gundu Rao, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka launched this remarkable service, along with Tara Anuradha, Sandalwood Actress & Politician, in the presence of Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals, Dr. Karthik Nagesh, Chairman & HOD – Neonatology, Paediatrics, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, Dr. Rajath Pejaver, Consultant – Neonatology, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, and Dr. H A Venkatesh, Consultant – Neonatology, Paediatrics, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road.
On this occasion, Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals, stated “We understand that newborns deserve the best care, especially during critical times. Our Neonatal Transport Service is a seamless continuum of our neonatal care that not only showcases our capabilities as neonatal experts but also underscores our commitment to compassionate care. We are proud to be pioneers in formalizing a networked neonatal transport service that spans multiple hospitals, serving the greater Bangalore community.”
According to Macrotrends, the current infant mortality rate in India in 2023 is about 26.619 deaths per 1000 live births. Many of them succumb while being transported in ambulances to hospitals. This newly launched service aims to mitigate any such distressing situations by ensuring that the ambulance is equipped with all the essential facilities of a NICU.
Dr. Karthik Nagesh, Chairman & HOD – Neonatology, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road stated, “With over 30 years of dedicated neonatal care, we have extended our services to patients in and around Bangalore, and with MARS-NOW, we will be delivering care even before a child reaches the hospital premises. Beginning with 4 ambulances at disposal, each of the ambulances has designated neonatal teams comprising neonatal consultants, neonatal transport registrars, trained paramedics, and trained nurses, ensuring a safe commute for critically ill infants.”
“Two of these ambulances are dedicated to in-house patients, while the remaining two will be stationed within the city to provide swift access to neighboring hospitals. This ensures that patients in need of emergency medical attention can receive prompt and efficient transportation to the hospital for treatment,” Dr. Karthik Nagesh added.
MARS-NOW offers care equivalent to a Level III B Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which is available at the flagship hospital of the Manipal network – Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, Bengaluru. Each ambulance is fully equipped with essential medical facilities, such as infant incubators, heart and lung monitors, high-frequency and conventional ventilators, nitric oxide administration, blanket warmers, advanced vehicle suspension for a smooth ride, etc., to enhance patient comfort and reduce stress during transportation.
Manipal Hospital’s launch of MARS-NOW marks a significant leap forward in neonatal care, setting new standards for excellence, and accessibility. With its extensive reach and unwavering dedication, this initiative exemplifies Manipal Hospitals’ vision of a healthier, more caring future for infants and families alike.