Trending: Caboolture Hospital investigated for 18 deaths, including five babies, Yvette D’Ath weighs in – WhatsNew2Day

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Health chiefs launch inquiry after 18 ‘unexpected’ deaths at hospital, including five BABIES in 18 months

  • Queensland hospital investigates 18′ unexpected deaths, including five babies
  • The deaths occurred between January 1, 2020 and August 4, 2022.
  • Caboolture Hospital staff are not accused of malpractice or reprehensible acts

The deaths of five babies are among 18 deaths being investigated at a single Queensland hospital.

The incidents occurred at Caboolture Hospital, 50 km north of Brisbane, between January 1, 2020 and August 4, 2022, it was revealed.

A previous investigation had found that the hospital had a “negative work culture and a destabilized governance structure that could result in an increased safety risk.”

But Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath insisted none of the incidents were the result of malpractice or “culpable acts” on the part of hospital staff.

“Deaths of any kind in a hospital setting are tragic, but all Queenslanders understand that it unfortunately happens,” said Ms D’Ath.

The death of five babies is among 18 deaths under investigation at Caboolture Hospital, located 50 km north of Brisbane, between January 1, 2020 and August 4, 2022.

Details were disclosed in documents released under the Right to Know and each death was given a Severity 1 Assessment Code, triggering a detailed review.

This code is given when medical care results in ‘unforeseen serious harm or unexpected death’.

Among the 18 deaths in the 18-month period were five babies, including one case in which a mother’s pre-eclampsia condition was not immediately recognized.

Among the 18 deaths in the 18-month period were five babies, including one case in which a mother’s pre-eclampsia condition was not immediately recognized.

Another death was caused by an ‘unexpected neonatal complication’ involving ‘birth asphyxia’, when a baby’s brain and other organs do not receive enough oxygen before, during or immediately after birth.

Opposition leader David Crisafulli accused the state government of not being candid about the disclosures in the documents.

“Queenslanders deserve to know what is going on inside Caboolture Hospital and that is why the opposition were looking for the truth,” Crisafulli said.

The health department document states that the data included “deaths that were not reasonably expected as a result of medical care before an analysis was performed.”

But he adds that the deaths could be the result of an underlying health condition.

Ms D’Ath added: ‘A Severity Assessment Code is a normal and important process that initiates a detailed review when medical care results in unforeseen serious harm or unexpected death.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said none of the incidents were the result of malpractice or “culpable acts” by hospital staff.

“The review assesses whether there were avoidable contributors to the outcome and whether improvements in care delivery can be identified.”

Findings from earlier research at Caboolture Hospital, published in November 2021, found that at least one preventable death occurred as a result of surgical malpractice between 2015 and 2020.