Investigation after baby dies in hospital

 

A baby has tragically died shortly after being born, prompting fresh investigations at Blacktown Hospital where five other newborns have died unexpectedly in about two years.

The tragic death occurred over the weekend and the parents have received bereavement support, a spokesman for the Western Sydney Local Health District said.

The death prompted health officials to launch an investigation - called a root cause analysis - to find out what led to the newborn's death.

Blacktown Hospital nurses and midwives went on strike in November last year. Supplied
Blacktown Hospital nurses and midwives went on strike in November last year. Supplied

The hospital's general manager and a nurse manager responsible for women's and children's health have met with the family to assure them that investigation is underway, a spokesman for the health district said.

Additionally, an internal investigation into the death has also been opened.

The death happened as the maternity ward was fully staffed with "full medical and midwifery coverage," the spokesman said.

The incident comes after five other newborns unexpectedly died at Blacktown Hospital in about two years.

Those deaths prompted Health Minister Brad Hazzard to say he would request a full review of the hospital.

Nurses and midwives staged a walkout in November last year to protest the conditions at the hospital.

The union NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association called it a "maternity crisis" and said that births at the hospital had increased way faster than staffing.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s office declined to comment. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s office declined to comment. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

From 2015 to 2020, births at Blacktown Hospital increased by 52 per cent, while staffing only rose by 11 per cent, union figures showed.

"Not only are they burning out with fatigue, many of the midwives have been traumatised by tragic deaths and believe the staffing issue has become untenable, putting their professional registrations at risk," the union's general secretary Brett Holmes said at the time.

In Tuesday's statement, the WSLHD spokesman said Blacktown Hospital had appointed three senior medical officers, four junior doctors and 15 midwives since October.

An assessment into staffing at the maternity service is due to be completed this month, he added.

Mr Hazzard's office declined to comment on the latest baby death when contacted on Tuesday night.

Originally published as Investigation after baby dies in hospital


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