Children’s Airway & Swallowing Centre (CASC), Manipal Hospitals Launches First-of-its-kind Paediatric Airway & Tracheostomy Safety Module

Chennai : The Children’s Airway & Swallowing Centre (CASC) at Manipal Hospitals has launched the first-of-its-kind Paediatric Airway & Tracheostomy Safety (PATS) module. The PATS module, approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a guide for medical professionals attending to patients with Tracheostomy (hole in the windpipe made in the neck).

Infant and neonatal mortality in India have significantly reduced due to advances in medical science. This dividend has however, comes at a cost, ie, defects in the airway may be caused by the very live-saving intervention leading to airway obstruction or swallowing disorders. A tracheostomy bypasses the airway obstruction and is a life saving procedure. Maintenance of tracheostomy is burdensome as it requires frequent suction toilet and the child loses its voice.

This results in the parents losing morale, and being financially stretched. They face various difficulties – logistically, financially and emotionally – in getting the child back to normal breathing and eating. Conventional hospitals – both government and private, lack the setup to effectively tackle this issue. Keeping this in mind, the CASC built an interdisciplinary team to provide specialist services in this area through a model of voluntary work and public-private-partnerships. Through the PATS Module, as well as the PATS Home Safety Care Guide, the CASC has made it possible for children with such issues to spend lesser time in hospitals and continue their recovery outside, i.e, at their homes.

Manipal Hospital now has advanced medical services to handle a smooth and confident transition to home care. Currently, CASC has over 400 children on Home Ventilation Services with excellent outcomes.

Dr. E V Raman, Director – Children’s Airway & Swallowing Centre, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road said, “ In the last two decades our multidisciplinary team of voluntary workers have taken care of upper airway problems by performing complex multistage surgeries. Patients from government hospitals have also been beneficiaries of this unique public private partnership supported by donations from well-wishers. PATS is another step in our programme called “Last Mile Connectivity Home” for children of intensive care units to return to their homes, schools and playgrounds.”