THE mother and grandparents of a full-term baby who died during labour in the maternity unit of Orange hospital are calling for an overhaul of midwifery procedures during labour and childbirth at the hospital.
When baby Arriana Mae Maric was born in the maternity unit of Orange hospital with a healthy birthweight of 3.7 kilograms on December 16 last year and placed on the chest of her mother Deeana Maric, she had already stopped breathing.
Emergency resuscitation activated by a midwife immediately after delivery failed to save the life of the baby who was born after an eight-hour labour.
Orange Health Service general manager Catherine Nowlan said yesterday a review was under way by the Local Health District into the care provided to Ms Maric during her labour and delivery.
“Our sincere condolences are with the family during this very tragic time,” Ms Nowlan said.
Joe Maric, the baby’s grandfather who sat beside his daughter Deeana with his wife Rae during the labour and traumatic delivery, said the tragedy had left the family with many questions.
“Throughout the night there seemed to be a problem with the baby’s heartbeat at different times and my wife and I are at a loss as to why an obstetrician wasn’t called on to do an emergency caesarean,” he said.
Mrs Maric, who has given birth to the couple’s children with her husband at her side, said the family expected a specialist to intervene in the final stage of labour.
“Especially around 5am when she looked like she was in real trouble long before the baby was born at 6.55am,” Mrs Maric said.
“We didn’t ask for an obstetrician because you are in a hospital and you are supposed to trust what is going on.
“I was so concerned I thought I was going to lose them both - my daughter and her baby."
Deeana said she was told during her regular visits with midwives in the lead-up to going into labour her pregnancy was considered to be low risk.
“But every time I went for my visits with the midwife it would be a different person,” she said.
“And the people who delivered my baby were different people."
Medical records handed to the Central Western Daily by the family showed the foetus was developing normally during scans carried out in the antenatal stage of Ms Maric’s pregnancy
The Maric family said senior medical staff consulted with the family at the hospital following the stillbirth of baby Arriana Mae and offered their condolences.
“One of the doctors told me the placenta had become detached and it was rare," Mr Maric said.
“Another one said it could have been to do with the baby’s blood and Deeana’s not matching.
“I have to say when that emergency button was pressed I couldn’t believe the number of people who came running within seconds - it was amazing."
The family was visited by senior Orange Health Service staff in the days following the baby's death to record the Ms Maric’s account of her labour and the birth.
At the time the family was handed all the medical records from the hospital relating to the antenatal visits, the progress of labour including heartbeat records, the delivery and the resuscitation attempts on the baby who was not breathing at birth.