Baby dies at Waikato hospital due to caesarean delay

  • 14/09/2017
The hospital was unable to perform both C-sections at once.
The hospital was unable to perform both C-sections at once. Photo credit: Getty

Questions are being raised about how Waikato Hospital is being managed after it was revealed a baby died due a lack of available delivery suites.

The mother had planned to have a C-section, but it was postponed when another patient needed the room for an emergency C-section. The hospital did not have the capacity to perform both C-sections at once. 

Elective C-sections are planned, and begin before labour does. If a C-section is performed after labour has begun, it is considered an emergency.

The incident took place in December last year and sparked a raft of changes, including increased capacity in the DHB to perform multiple C-sections at once by using the hospital's main operating theatre, reports NZME.

The hospital does not currently have a more than one delivery suite. 

Waikato DHB board member Dave Macpherson says he only found out about the incident from the media, and fears it may happen again. 

"Since the story came out I've had two different people working in the medical sector contact me to say this is not the first time this has happened," he told Newshub.

Deborah Powell, national secretary of the Resident Doctors' Association, says: "It's pretty hard to hold the board accountable if they don't know what's going on… There's something fundamentally wrong with how Waikato hospital is being run."