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Coroner's Findings Released in Baby Death

Media Release:
AIM: Action to Improve Maternity Charitable Trust 16-8-12

Coroner's Findings Released in Baby Death

Consumer Organisation Urges Vigilance

The consumer support network Action to Improve Maternity extends its condolences to the family at the centre of Coroner Devonport’s findings released in Hastings today. We offer our support to the family, including potential (ACC) assistance with funeral and other costs, and a safe place to tell their story in their own words.

The Coroner noted

• A lack of basic monitoring throughout pregnancy of both mother and Baby

• That clearly abnormal findings were ‘normalised’ by the midwife • Assistance not being sought in a timely manner, nor with sound communication between care providers

He was also critical of text messaging being substituted by the midwife for adequate clinical assessment, though in our experience diagnosis via telephone is not uncommon.

We note that some seven or eight of the ‘Common Warning Signs’ on our website (http://www.aim.org.nz/common-warning-signs) are evident in this tragic situation. We urge all pregnant women to be vigilant in order to prevent further loss.

The AIM network is a group of around 600 families and supporters who believe that the current NZ maternity system needs improvement. In 2009 the AIM network petitioned the government, including advice on several low or no cost changes which would instantly make safety and quality improvements in the current maternity system. Also included on the website of the network are the stories of many of the network families who have suffered loss and/or needless injury to their children. This information is on the website www.aim.org.nz


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