KING EDWARD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College

Acharya Donde Marg, Parel,
Mumbai 400 012. India.
Tel.: 91-22-2410 7000 Fax: 91-22-2414 3435

History of Department of Pediatrics:

For almost the first three decades of our institution, Pediatrics did not exist as a separate entity.The physicians looking after the health needs of adult patients considered children as miniature adults and treated them. It soon dawned that children and infants have special needs that require specialized attention.

Following the worldwide trend, a separate department of Pediatrics was established in 1958 with two Pediatric Units and a total strength of 48 in-patient beds. The units were headed by two honorary Pediatricians – Dr. P.E. Bharucha and Dr. M.P.Bhagat. They were assisted by an assistant honorary each. Both these stalwarts served the hospital for over 15 years and were responsible for its growth and for the training of a generation of able Pediatricians. In 1967, a third unit was added and the bed strength of the department was increased to 72 beds and later to 90 beds in 1976. Currently the Pediatric wards have total of 120 beds. For a large part of its existence, many more patients were cared for on the floor beds, so that no patient requiring admission was denied the benefit of in-patient care.In the sixties and early seventies, before setting up of the pediatric wards in the peripheral municipal hospitals, the load of patients was tremendous with almost 15000 to 20000 patients seen in the outpatient departments per year and more than 5000 patients were admitted per year. Over the years as the facilities in peripheral Hospitals got established and improved, the patient load at KEM Hospital has shown a decreasing trend. Reduction in patient load coupled with availability of ancillary laboratory and other investigative facilities has resulted in better care of patients and now we are able to accurately diagnose many illnesses and treat many conditions effectively.The aims of department as that of the hospital itself have always been patient care, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research.

Till the establishment of this department at KEM Hospital, the undergraduate students had their training from B.J. Wadia Hospital for Children. Now, Their rotation in Pediatrics is divided in these two hospitals. The postgraduate students and interns also work at KEM Hospital and B.J. Wadia Hospital during their training.

The department has been training students for MD Pediatrics Course since 1960 and DCH Course since 1993 (previously under University of Mumbai, and now affiliated to MUHS- Maharashtra University of Health Sciences).Over the years, the department of Pediatrics has evolved and developed in specialty care services. The first amongst its leaps was the Special care area in the pediatric ward for sick children by Dr. P.E. Bharucha in 1958 with two incubators, isolation facilities and separate nursing staff. Initially, the obstetricians took care of all newborns delivered at KEM Hospital in the obstetric wards. In 1968, Pediatricians took over the responsibility. In 1970, a separate Neonatal Care Unit was set up adjacent to the postpartum ward with 10 beds with incubators, phototherapy units, separate pantry and separate staff. The facility was expanded with by the efforts of Dr. N. B. Kumta and Dr. S. F. Irani to provide level II and Level III care in 1991-92, as it was felt that a neonate is not a miniature child but one whose care required knowledge and expertise. The Neonatal unit was given the status of a separate Department in 1994 and it trains postgraduate students for DM Neonatology Course.The Departments of Pediatrics is working at developing other specialties too. A Rheumatology Clinic has been running since 1969 and a Nephrology clinic since 1971, both started by Dr. M. P. Bhagat, Dr. Maharukh K. Joshi and Dr. P. W. Kandoth. The Pediatric Chest Clinic was established by Dr. M.D. Shah in 1979. The Pediatric epilepsy clinic has been a recent addition (2009) to the specialty services provided. The Genetic Clinic and the Pediatric research laboratorywas started in 1979 by Dr. N.B. Kumta. From a fledging start, it later became one of the first fifteen laboratories in India. Here, the patients are investigated for the diagnosis of genetic and metabolic disorders and the clinic gets referrals from all over India. Dr. N.B. Kumta’s successor Late Dr. B.A. Bharucha expanded the facilities by collaborating with similar laboratories from abroad. The Prestige of this clinic has increased over the past years and this facility is considered to be one of the best in the city and the state. This clinic is currently looked after by Dr. Mamta N. Muranjan. Infants born in KEM Hospital are followed up in separate Well Baby Clinic since 1970. The clinic undertakes activities of Under-five care including growth monitoring and healthy promotive activities like advice regarding nutrition, immunization and accident prevention. A Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) was started in 1992 with 8 beds, which was later renovated and expanded to a 9 bed set-up (2002) and later to 20 beds (currently). It is equipped with modern day equipment like the invasive and non-invasive multichannel monitors, central monitor, ventilators, high frequency ventilator, pulse-oximeters, capnographs, etc and is managed by separate medical and nursing Staff. About 700-800 patients are admitted every year in the Pediatric ICU. Currently the PICU is looked after by Dr. C.T.Deshmukh and Dr. Milind Tullu. The Learning Disabilities Clinic was established in the year 2010. It is a state recognized centre for certification of patients with learning disabilities and is looked after by Dr. Sunil Karande.

The Pediatric units in the Department have been headed by stalwarts including Dr. P.E. Bharucha, Dr. M.P. Bhagat, Dr. N.B.Kumta, Dr. M.D.Shah, Dr. M.K.Jain, Dr. P.W.Kandoth, Dr. S.F.Irani, Dr. R.H.Udani, Dr. J.R.Kamat, Dr. B.A.Bharucha, Dr. Keya Lahiri and Dr. Sandeep Bavdekar. The present day head of the 3 units are- Dr. Mukesh Agrawal, Dr. C.T.Deshmukh and Dr. Sunil Karande.

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