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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Health and Disability Commissioner

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall today released a report finding a midwife in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) for the care she provided to a newborn baby with respiratory distress.
“This case highlights the importance of LMCs and DHB midwives working collegially and communicating effectively,” Ms Wall said.
The midwife provided care to the baby’s mother as her lead maternity carer and assisted her to deliver her baby at a public hospital. Following delivery the baby showed signs of respiratory distress and the midwife observed meconium in the birthing pool and on the placenta. The midwife did not seek assistance from the hospital midwives or a paediatrician over a two hour period. When the baby deteriorated further, she moved him to a resuscitaire in the corridor where she left him with family members, without medical supervision, while she sought assistance.
The baby was diagnosed with meconium aspiration syndrome and required transfer to a tertiary hospital for care.
Ms Wall was critical of the midwife’s failure to seek support from the hospital midwives, and to escalate the baby’s care immediately when his condition deteriorated. She was also critical of the midwife’s decision to leave the baby in the corridor without medical supervision.
Recommendations were made should the midwife return to midwifery practice and Ms Wall recommended that the DHB consider how it can improve relationships with LMC midwives.
The full report for case 17HDC02110 is available on the HDC website.
Background
Meconium is a baby’s first stool.
A resuscitaire is a machine combining a warming platform with the components needed for a clinical emergency and resuscitation.
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