Supporting Families, Preventing Tragedies




Tuesday 24 March 2009

I went into labour with my daughter Kassidy on 24th March 2009. Around 11pm we made our way to Papakura maternity unit. Kassidy was my second child. I have a son Oshae who is 5, and was born at Papakura maternity unit. I had an easy labour and straight forward delivery with him, so thought that would be the case with Kassidy. Unfortunately I was very wrong.

I was scheduled to have a water birth, but while my midwife was filling the birthing pool my waters broke and the umbilical cord had come out (cord prolapse). The alarm was raised and my midwife immediately called for an ambulance which arrived in 9 minutes. The ambulance officers arrived but my midwife made them wait outside as she thought that Kassidy would soon be born. 20 minutes later she still hadn’t arrived so then the transfer was made to the ambulance and we proceeded to Middlemore hospital.

During the journey I was not allowed to push if I had a contraction as it would cut off Kassidy’s oxygen supply. When we arrived we were taken to theatre and Kassidy was delivered by forceps. She was not born alive, and was resuscitated. She suffered from severe brain damage. She was taken straight to intensive care and was hooked up to a lot of wires. She had to have a feeding tube, oxygen, and had to be heavily medicated for seizures. She was also put on a cooling blanket. I was not able to hold her until she was two days old. She was in nicu for 2 months.

For the first year things were very difficult for us as Kassidy hardly slept and screamed constantly. Kassidy has been diagnosed with severe spastic quadraplegia cerebral palsy. She can only eat small amounts of pureed food, she has a mickey button, she cannot drink, sit up alone, crawl, or walk, and is on 5 different medications. Kassidy is now 3 years old, she is a happy healthy little girl and we love her to pieces.

All I want to say to finish off is that now I encourage mothers-to-be to go straight to a hospital to deliver their baby – that way you are in the best place should anything go wrong. They have the specialists there, and emergency equipment. I know for a fact that if I had gone straight to Middlemore, this would not have happened to my little girl.


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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