Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Quick hit: Maternal health shortages lead to unnecessary abortion

The most popular link on Stuff today:
A pregnant Wellington woman had her baby wrongly aborted because an ultrasound was misread by a radiologist in Australia.

A follow-up ultrasound at Hutt Hospital nine days later showed the baby was simply in an unusual position and was still alive.

But by then the woman had been given medication to terminate the pregnancy and the baby later died.

An external report into the case also criticised the woman's independent obstetrician for terminating the pregnancy after just one ultrasound, when the scans are known to be inaccurate in such cases.

The report, issued to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act, found the mother, who had difficulties conceiving and had already had two miscarriages, desperately wanted the baby and should have been told the diagnosis might be wrong and given more time to decide.

At the time of the incident, Hutt Hospital had a "low number" of radiologists and was forced to send urgent after-hours scans to specialists in Australia.
Click through for the rest of the article. WARNING: May be hard reading for those who have miscarried or had ectopic pregnancies.

Choosing whether or not to terminate should not be made harder by systematic failures in our health system. I really feel for this woman.

7 comments:

katy said...

This is awful on so many levels.

muerk said...

Yeah, my heart goes out to this porr woman. Just a nightmare.

Anna said...

Me too, Muerk - I just about had a cry over this.

hungrymama said...

Terrible and unfair.

Azlemed said...

pregnancy is hard enough when you have had miscarriage/s let alone when the people you put trust in stuff up.
With my ectopic they did two scans and bloods before they suggested surgery, I was also in a huge amount of pain though which is a symptom of ectopic pregnancy.

This womans story is just so sad.

katy said...

One of the issues here is that this particular area of obstetrics is one where internationally there is a real shortage of skilled people, including in NZ. How can we encourage more people into this important area??

Anonymous said...

One of the issues here is that this particular area of obstetrics is one where internationally there is a real shortage of skilled people, including in NZ. How can we encourage more people into this important area??Maybe by reducing the male dominated nature of the profession more women would be encouraged to get into obtetrics?