Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Auckland doctor accused of negligence after baby dies

"He did not talk to me, he did not explain to me what he was doing...he seemed to completely ignore me as if I didn't count."

This was how I felt when the specialist treated me when I was admitted to antenatal care.

Auckland doctor accused of negligence after baby dies

An experienced Auckland doctor is alleged to have ignored the advice of colleagues, leading to the death of an unborn baby.
The doctor, who has interim name suppression, appeared before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal on Monday.
He was in charge of the mother's care in October 2011 when she arrived at North Shore hospital after her waters broke.
The pregnancy was the woman's fifth and she was deemed high risk because of her age.
Just after 9pm a cardiotocograph (CTG) recorded a low heart rate in the baby and the doctor was called into the room.
The charge against the doctor alleges the baby was suffering from a condition known as prolonged bradycardia, which is when the heart rate has fallen below 100 beats per minute and remains that way for more than five minutes. It requires urgent medical attention.
Director of proceedings Nicola Wills said the accepted practice for an obstetrician is to make preparations for urgent delivery if a baby has been bradycardic for more than three minutes and move to an emergency caesarean section if the heart rate has not recovered in nine minutes.
But in this case the doctor failed to recognise and respond to the situation for a period of 29 minutes before calling for an emergency caesarean section.
The baby was eventually delivered stillborn.
Giving evidence through tears, the mother said she was frightened by the doctor's manner when he arrived in the delivery room, describing him as "grumpy" and "aggressive".
"He did not talk to me, he did not explain to me what he was doing...he seemed to completely ignore me as if I didn't count."
The doctor said that throughout the day when the mother was in hospital, he consulted frequently with her midwife.
But the midwife denied this, claiming the doctor only called into the midwives' office a few hours before the incident, stating he wanted to go and watch the Rugby World Cup semifinal in a nearby room.
In her submission, Wills said the doctor either did not understand one of the most basic and fundamental core competencies of an obstetrician or chose to ignore it.
It is alleged the doctor did not speak to the mother or her husband at all during the ordeal, including explaining the baby's heart rate, what it meant, what her options were or what he recommended.
After the CTG recording the doctor decided to wait for a registrar to arrive before performing a lactate, a blood test of the baby that would confirm fetal compromise.
When the registrar arrived she immediately recognised the seriousness of the situation and told the doctor a caesarean section should be performed.
He refused and insisted on a lactate test, which eventually returned bad results. But by then it was too late.
The hearing continues this week.
 - Stuff

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