A newborn has tragically died just minutes after being delivered in a New South Wales Public Hospital. This baby is the fourth newborn to die at this Hospital in the past 18 months.

A Root Cause Analysis (RCA) conducted by the Hospital revealed that the mother’s consultant Obstetrician did not personally examine her during labour. It was also reported that the consultant Obstetrician only reviewed incomplete sections of the mother’s Cardiotocography trace (CTG) through videos of the trace sent by phone from a junior, non-specialist doctor. Consequentially, multiple prolonged decelerations (drops in foetal heart rate) and signs of foetal distress were not discovered and acted upon. The newborn was delivered approximately three hours later than it should have been and died shortly after.

The RCA team reported multiple deficiencies in this treatment, and has subsequently referred the matter to the Health Care Complaints Commission. The NSW Health Minister has directed the NSW Chief Obstetrician to conduct a broad review of public maternity services. These findings are expected to be delivered in the coming months.

Childbirth is an extremely complex process and demands the ongoing input of Obstetricians and senior doctors.

Periodic monitoring of the CTG trace and physical examinations of the mother are essential to the mother’s safety, and to the delivery of a healthy baby. Failure to appropriately monitor the condition of the foetus may lead catastrophic outcomes for the newborn, such as global developmental delay, brain damage and cerebral palsy and death.

Turner Freeman has assisted many families in pursuing medical negligence claims in relation to inadequate obstetric management. We have seen firsthand the devastating impact that the death of a baby has on parents and extended family. We send our best wishes to the four families who have had to endure the loss of their children.

If you believe that yourself or your loved ones is a victim of medical negligence please feel free to contact Turner Freeman. We have expert team of personal injury lawyers, especially medical negligence experts who will be able to assist your case.