An Australian mother has narrowly escaped death after a hospital made the incorrect call to send her home early.
The Blumer’s client had a routine birth in an Australian hospital earlier this year, delivering a healthy baby girl. Not long after being discharged by the hospital and arriving home with her new baby, the client began to feel unwell. After a short time she became dizzy and collapsed, and was fortunately able to access a phone to call 000.
When Paramedics arrived they found the client had suffered severe bleeding as a result of the birth and immediately began to assist with a blood transfusion and later, kidney dialysis.
Upon further investigation into the cause of the bleeding, the hospital’s decision to discharge the client early came under scrutiny. With Blumers Lawyers successfully arguing that the hospital failed to do the required health checks before sending the new mother home.
“Quite simply, the hospital failed to do the proper health checks before discharging our client. A mistake that could have been fatal. A routine ultrasound would have shown that she required further care.” said Blumers lawyer, Ben Jullienne.
“Luckily she was able to call for emergency assistance but we hate to think what would have happened if she couldn’t have made that call”, said Jullienne. Jullienne says that unfortunately, these cases are becoming all too common in Australia.
A recent study confirms this, showing that cost saving measures and a shortage of beds are two reasons why hospitals are feeling the strain and encouraging new mothers to leave earlier than ever before.
“Our healthcare system is under pressure, this is passed on to patients and as a result mums feel pressured to leave the hospital soon after birth. In some cases this is before they are emotionally or physically ready, and in our client’s case, before she had the proper care from her nurses and midwives.” says Jullienne.
Jullienne encourages anyone who may have a similar birth experience to get in touch at www.blumers.com.au. “Often our clients don’t realise that they have a case until after they have a chat with us, so I encourage people to get in touch even if they are unsure at first.”
Related Article for further reading:
Cited study: Evans WN, Garthwaite C, Wei H. Nber: the impact of early discharge laws on the health of newborns. J Health Econ. 2008;27(4):843–870. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2007.12.003