Dead baby case ‘must be investigated independently’
WHILE there is no doubt that Emma Green's ordeal has caused tremendous strain on the family, things are not over yet as the matter is legally investigated.
Sarah Atkinson, medical negligence lawyer for Maurice Blackburn, said while this isn't the first case of its nature she has seen, it is tragic nonetheless.
"The details are still becoming clear, but obviously it's a really sad and tragic case," she said.
"We've seen a number of issues come out of Rockhampton Hospital, and it's unfortunate to see another one."
Ms Atkinson said it was important that matter be investigated independently.
"What is really important, is that this investigation be done independently. If it is established that this is a stillbirth, the coroner can't take matters any further.
"Recently in Rockhampton, there have been two cases that resulted in inquests, and that was helpful. If there's no inquest, the family won't have that avenue to find out what happened.
"If the family were able to establish the hospital had been negligent, and that had caused the baby's death, they might be entitled to compensation.
"A few years ago, a mother who had just given birth was given her baby to feed at Rockhampton Hospital. She fell asleep and rolled on to the baby and it died - that's a similar circumstance."
Ms Green allegedly could not give birth at Gladstone Hospital in the first place because her BMI was too high.
Director Medical Services Gladstone Hospital Dr Nicki Murdock said women presenting at the hospital with a BMI of 35 or above were encouraged to birth at Rockhampton Hospital, which has a 24-hour intensive care unit and a special care nursery.
Since December, nine patients from Gladstone have given birth in other centres due to their weight.