Supporting Families, Preventing Tragedies


Near Miss


Monday, 7 May 2007

Every night before I go to bed, I kiss my son on the cheek and say a prayer of thanks that he is with us today, for he was so close to being an angel.

I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy, but due to increased stresses at work, left at 32 weeks and relaxed at home for what I thought was going to be an early arrival of my baby. I had chosen a midwife who had been practicing for around 30 years, and had a number of glowing recommendations from friends about her.

I live in a small town 1hr away from our major hospital, we have a birthing unit nearby, however I had already decided on making that drive to the hospital when the time came.

I was having weekly checkups with my midwife, and she often had a student with her, they both did checks of my belly and checked the positioning of bubs saying everything looked great and the correct way round.

My EDD came and went, no sign of the baby arriving, I had not received any Braxton hicks or any other signs of labour starting.

At 41w 3d my midwife preformed a CTG to check everything was ok, she always struggled to find where the heartbeat was on the monitor, and mentioned it was a lot higher up than normally. At this stage she also did an internal which showed no signs of dilation.

I was admitted into the hospital for induction the following evening, gel was applied. Waters broke several hours later and duty midwife did another internal. At the time I questioned if it was meconium in the waters that I had seen, and was told no it appeared fine, to this day I still think I was correct.

Several hours later around 9am I was given syntocin to start increasing the intensity of the contractions, was restricted to being in bed however as I was still attached to the CTG machine and midwife still had issues picking up where the heartbeat was to get the strap in the correct place. by just after 1pm I had gotten to 5cm…. halfway there! Midwife had done a couple of internals in this time.

However something was not right at that stage, something made her get the Registar on duty to do a quick scan, with minutes it was realized that where the feet should be by my ribs we could see a huge mass, that appeared to be a head. My baby was an undiagnosed breech.

At this stage I was taken straight into theater for a C-Section. Part way thru trying to pull my baby out they had to stop and cut further across to get him out. The cord that had nourished and breathed for him for the past 9 months was suffocating him and wrapped tightly around his neck 5 times. The doctor who delivered him said that she had never seen a cord wrapped so many times around a neck, and how fortunate we were as he was literally moments from death as every contraction I had was pushing him down, and he essentially would have hung himself had it continued.

I believe this is the fault of the midwife. I had no major movements from 32 weeks, and I had told her all of the kicks I was feeling were down very low. In hindsight I should have asked for a scan, but as a first time mum, you don’t really know what is or isn’t right.

So we were so fortunate to have a healthy baby. We have had a number of ongoing problems most likely related to his positioning, such as neck problems and also some of the bones in his head fused too quickly and it is believed it could be due to being breech for so long.


Red Flags

        RED FLAGS

  • Lack of monitoring
  • “Normalising” the abnormal
  • Lack of action/delay in getting emergency care
  • Going over due date
  • Failure to progress in labour
  • Meconium-stained liquor (waters)
  • Lengthy handover during emergency
  • Inconsistent reporting and documentation
  • Your concerns being ignored

    Click here to read more about common warning signs


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