Newborn death after home birth in Gold Coast could have been prevented, coroner found

Water home birth shock: Three-day-old girl dies in tragic, ‘avoidable’ death – and she would have lived had she been born in hospital

  • Baby who died in water three days after home birth, coroner says ‘preventable’
  • Baby became unresponsive after having a water birth at a Gold Coast home in January
  • According to the coroner’s report, death could have been ‘preventable’ if the mother had gone to hospital










A girl’s death three days after a home birth could have been prevented if she had been born in hospital, a Queensland coroner had found.

The baby was delivered to her mother’s Gold Coast home on January 10, 2018 by two midwives who admitted to falsifying the details after the birth.

The baby was unresponsive, “pale and limp” at birth, with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, coroner Jane Bentley found in a report issued Friday.

Death of a three-day-old baby after a home birth at a Gold Coast home could have been ‘avoidable’, coroner found (pictured, stock image)

Midwives began CPR before calling paramedics, and the girl was placed in Gold Coast University Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

She was diagnosed with brain damage from oxygen starvation and died three days later.

“The death of (the baby) was preventable,” the coroner’s report said.

“If she had been born in the hospital, she probably would have had a healthy baby.”

Three days before the birth, the mother noticed reduced fetal movements and had an ultrasound on January 7.

The physician recommended immediate induction of hospital birth with continuous fetal monitoring during labour.

The baby had died after being diagnosed with brain damage from oxygen deprivation (photo, stock image)

The baby had died after being diagnosed with brain damage from oxygen deprivation (photo, stock image)

The baby’s mother refused and asked to be discharged, stating she ‘didn’t want the baby in the hospital’

“The Registrar… emphasized that RANZCOG (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) does not approve home births as they are associated with an increased risk to mother and baby,” the coroner found.

The baby was ‘pale and limp’ at delivery and the coronal examination also found that midwives had changed their medical records after the baby’s death.

“The dishonesty of (midwives) in colluding to falsify medical records and provide those records and a knowingly false statement for a coronary examination is astonishing,” the coroner said.

The birth certificate was amended to remove any readings that were out of normal range.

“False readings were inserted to reinforce the misperception that (the bay) was not in distress,” noted Ms Bentley.

“The midwife should have refused to assist Ms Ely with a home birth because of the decreased fetal movements on January 4 and 7, 2018 and the recommendation of the GCUH doctor to be hospitalized and induced.”

The coroner also found that paramedics should have been called sooner.

“If (the mother) had stayed in the hospital on January 7, 2018 or had returned to the hospital in the afternoon on January 8, 2018 and had (the baby) been hospitalized, there is a good chance she would have had a healthy baby.” have been.’

The coroner referred no criminal charges and advised Queensland Health to consider developing a standard guideline for planned home births.

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