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Unnecessary baby deaths at Blacktown Hospital

Unnecessary baby deaths at Blacktown Hospital

Published on November 27, 2020

I was deeply saddened to learn that at least 5 babies have died unnecessarily at Blacktown Hospital in the last 18 months due to inadequate staffing, failure to correctly interpret and act upon CTG’s and insufficient availability of theatres for emergency caesareans.

As a mother of 3 and a lawyer, who was myself born in Blacktown Hospital, I reflect on the vulnerable state I was in when I presented at Blacktown Hospital as a public patient almost 16 years ago, in labour, and the plea for help that I made to the nursing staff and midwives.

Fortunately I was in good hands and my baby survived the birth process, though born tiny at 2.02kg, and I was able to take her home and she is now a thriving teenager.

It is difficult to imagine how life might have been different had that life been lost at Blacktown Hospital due to inadequate staffing or lack of government funding.

Pregnant mothers who do the right thing by presenting to hospital for their deliveries deserve proper medical care.  The worst outcome is the loss of life and presumably mothers and newborns who have survived the birth process have been exposed to the risk of injury and lifelong disabilities due to the lack of quality care.

I congratulate the senior obstetricians who raised the alarm and more than 100 midwives and nurses who rejected this situation and walked off the job.

Today it was announced that up to 10 new obstetric staff would be appointed to Blacktown Hospital, as well as emergency locum doctors immediately, and I hope that this will help to reduce the incidence of newborn deaths in Blacktown.

However much more is needed and quickly.  Blacktown Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in Western Sydney.

I feel passionate about justice for those families who have unnecessarily and tragically lost their precious babies.  Those families may be entitled to compensation and should be properly compensated for the psychological injury they suffer as a result of the negligence of hospitals.

If you require legal advice please contact Evelyn Garnett Special Counsel at Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers Wollongong on 4258 8305.

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