News

Pregnant daughter told staff something wasn't right: mum

Gladstone woman Emma Green and her partner Eldean Blake.
Gladstone woman Emma Green and her partner Eldean Blake. Facebook

EMMA Green repeatedly told hospital staff "something wasn't right", her mother Jane Green has said.

Ms Green, 26, of Gladstone and formerly of Ipswich, lost her full term baby this week. 

Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has ordered an investigation into claims she was turned away from Rockhampton Hospital by staff who knew her unborn baby had died.

Jane said the situation was devastating.

"All through her pregnancy she has been fine. She's done all her medical appointments, everything's been fine," she said.

"They came up here last Friday and were checked out. She said she'd been having some pains and things but they said everything looked fine.

"They stayed in Rocky for the night. She still wasn't feeling right on Saturday so she went back to Rocky. They checked her out and said everything was okay, it was all normal."

Jane said her daughter and partner stayed in Rockhamtpon on Sunday because they had an ante-natal appointment on Monday.

"They went and did that and everything looked fine with his heartbeat and blood pressure and everything," she said.

"They said: 'You can either stay in Rocky the night or go home and come back Tuesday at three o'clock and we'll book you in for an induction'.

"They came up at three o'clock thinking they'd be booked in to be induced. They were told there were no rooms or monitoring beds. They were busy, 'Come back at eight o'clock, you may be induced then.' But that wasn't a definite."

Jane said her daughter mentioned to staff that "she didn't feel right and she hadn't felt him for a couple of hours".

Jane Green with her daughter Emma.
Jane Green with her daughter Emma. Facebook

"The registrar or his wife - I'm not sure if both people were there - no-one even checked her at three o'clock when she said that. No-one even did a blood pressure or checked his heartbeat or anything.

"She was sent away on Friday, people saying she was fine; she was sent away Saturday, people said she was fine; everything was fine Monday, came back Tuesday and this is it.

"I came up on Tuesday night, thinking that she'd be induced at the four o'clock mark. At that stage I was at the Brisbane Airport. When I got to Rocky the kids met me at the airport and that was the news at 9.30pm."

Jane said an apology was "not going to cut it from the people who have made the mistake".

She paid tribute to staff at Rockhampton's Mater Private Hospital, where the stillborn baby was delivered on Wednesday.

"The Mater Hospital covered all the costs - we didn't have to pay anything," Jane said.

"They were just so good; all the staff, all the doctors and especially Sister Maria who helped us out.

"We had a lovely little naming ceremony for him," Jane said, crying.

The distressed mother is angry her daughter and partner were referred to Rockhampton in the first place.

"It was because Gladstone Hospital has a policy for pregnant women that their weight and BMI have to be in a certain range and Emma was a little bit over that range," she said.

"The whole medical system needs to be looked at and investigated. This isn't the only case. It's happened before at Rockhampton and other hospitals.

"In this day and age, where you've had a normal pregnancy, this shouldn't have happened.

"When someone says to you, 'Something doesn't feel right' to a medical person, they need to look at you and investigate you, not turn you away and say, 'Come back at eight o'clock'."

Baby's death a tragedy that shouldn't have occurred, MP says

INDEPENDENT Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham says the loss of Gladstone woman Emma Green's baby is a tragedy that should not have occurred.

"Our hospital here has been trying for years to have service improvements, and now is not the time to trade on this grief," Ms Cunningham said

"But given the information that we have available, it is a tragedy that should not have occurred. That mum deserves all the support she can have, but it won't bring her baby back.

"This tragedy is avoidable, and steps should be taken to make sure it doesn't happen again. And the best step that I know is to improve services at the Gladstone Hospital."

EARLIER: The ABC reported Ms Green's aunt Sue Bishop said staff at the hospital confirmed her niece's baby had died in the womb on Monday, but would not admit her because of a shortage of hospital beds.

Ms Bishop said her niece had been in labour for nearly a week and had gone to Rockhampton Hospital several times for help.

She also says the Gladstone Hospital was unable to treat her niece throughout her pregnancy because of her weight.

Read the full story here.

Mr Springborg said the hospital was preparing a report on the incident and he had asked Queensland Health to conduct an independent investigation. 

"Unfortunately from time to time some things don't go right," Mr Springborg said.

"We don't know at this stage what happened."

Mr Springborg said whatever the circumstances were, Ms Green's situation was a "tragedy".

Ms Green went to Rockhampton's Mater Private Hospital and delivered her baby on Wednesday.

Brisbane Times reported Ms Green's baby boy was due on May 6 and she had a "small procedure" at Rockhampton Hospital to induce labour. She was sent home that day.

The 26-year-old returned to the hospital a few days later but was again told she was not in labour and was sent home, with staff telling her they could not induce her over the weekend.

Ms Green's contractions started a few days later, and on Monday she went back to the hospital with contractions every eight minutes.

She was told to return on Tuesday morning because there were no beds available. Her mother claimed she was not examined by a doctor or nurse.

By 10am on Tuesday the baby - which Ms Green and her partner Eldean Blake had named Waylan - had stopped kicking and a hospital scan that afternoon revealed the baby's heart had stopped beating.

Read more here.

Rockhampton Hospital carries out its own investigation

Rockhampton Hospital director of medical services Dr Craig Margetts said there was no greater tragedy for a family than the unexpected loss of a baby.

"Our sympathies go out to her and her family at this difficult time," he said.

"I have commenced an investigation into this matter. As with all incidents we aim to fully understand the sequence of events so that we can understand and, if possible, learn from what happened.

"When outcomes are not as we would all have hoped, we undertake a detailed analysis to look for opportunities to improve the services we provide.

"Whilst we understand that the family is grieving at this time, we remain able and willing to support them in any way we can over the forthcoming weeks."

Topics:  editors picks gladstone hospital maternity queensland health rockhampton hospital



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