Experts hammer out guidelines on oxygen therapy for newborns

Islamabad : Newborns with heart, lung, or respiratory problems may need to breathe increased amounts of oxygen. Oxygen therapy is a lifesaving, essential intervention for the treatment of many common childhood conditions. At the same time, however, breathing too much oxygen can damage the lungs of patients who are born very prematurely, and may also lead to problems in the brain and eyes. Patients with certain heart conditions may also need lower levels of oxygen in the blood.
To address these concerns and instructional gaps in Pakistan, the Health Services Academy (HSA), in collaboration with the Pakistan Paediatrics Association (PPA) and UNICEF, organized a national consultative dialogue on ‘Draft National Oxygen Therapy Guidelines for Children’ here on Sunday. The dialogue was attended by leading paediatricians representing all four provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Vice Chancellor of HSA Prof. Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan delivered the opening remarks, which were followed by Prof. Dr. Major Gen. Salman Ali HI(M) delivering an address. Subsequently, four different groups were formed to indulge in the national dialogue on how the guidelines would be best suited for Pakistan.

The partnering teams from UNICEF and PPA actively worked along HSA to finalize draft guidelines to deal with oxygen therapy. Dr. Tabinda Zaman, senior coordinator for the dialogue, provided the way forward, and UNICEF’s health manager Dr. Nabila Zaka apprised that the document would be shared with national policy-makers for perusal.