The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with the national referral hospital in Thimphu recorded 5,081 deliveries last year, which was 13 babies a day on an average.

According to the recent hospital’s annual report, the number of births has increased from 4,052 in 2012 to 5,081 last year.

Of the total deliveries last year, 3,380 were normal deliveries and 150 instrumental deliveries or babies delivered with the help of vacuum and forceps.

The number of babies born through caesarean sections at the hospital has also increased over the years.

Of 1,551 babies born through caesarean sections, 375 were elective and the rest due to emergency. The number of caesarean sections at the hospital increased from 1,081 in 2016 to 1,283 in 2017.

The report stated that past caesarean section was the main indication for caesarean section, followed by foetal distress as the second most indication.

The department performed a total of 1,698 gynecological surgeries in 2018. The department had implemented 29 standard operating procedures for common procedures and management of common illness in the department, according to the report.

Under the specialised service, Maternofoetal medicine, the department saw 1,100 high-risk pregnancies, 609 lesser than the previous year and conducted 905 advanced ultrasounds.

About 99 new cancers related to obstetrics and gynecology was registered with the department, out of which, 72 were new cervical cancers.  In 2017, the hospital recorded 59 new cervical cancers. The department also saw about 22 patients with recurrent cancers last year.

The department with four consultants, five residents and 53 nurses saw a total of 28,646 outpatients in 2018, about 9.8 percent more than in 2017.

Meanwhile, the number of women opting for epidural analgesia during labour has tripled since the national referral hospital introduced the medical technique in March 2016.

Epidural analgesia is a medical technique of relieving pain administered to pregnant mothers during delivery.

According to the hospital records, 159 women opted for epidural analgesia in 2018, about 59 more than the previous year. In 2016, 52 women opted for the medical technique.

Dechen Tshomo