Midwife criticised for lack of action

  • 09/05/2016
Midwife criticised for lack of action

A midwife has been criticised by the Health and Disability Commissioner after not adequately treating a heavily pregnant woman with a potentially life-threatening condition.

The 26-year-old woman, who was 39 weeks pregnant, began to experience symptoms of pre-eclampsia - which raises blood pressure and may reduce the baby's oxygen - while carrying her first child.

While the midwife told the woman about the signs of the condition, she did not recommend a specialist who could further assess her despite twice reporting she was experienced symptoms.

The woman then went into labour and her blood pressure had continued to rise, prompting the nurse to call the on-call registrar who took over the pregnant woman's care.

Fortunately she delivered a healthy baby.

Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill criticised the midwife for not acting promptly to the onset of pre-eclampsia and recommended a report be made assessing the midwife's competence.

He referred the midwife to the Director of Proceedings to decide whether any further action should be taken.