The Health and Disability Commissioner has recommended two midwives apologise and undertake further training after poor interpretation of ultrasounds, recording practices, and failure to refer, led to an unborn child suffering a stroke.

The patient hired a private midwifery service for her care during pregnancy. The patient was seen by two midwives over this time who undertook scans and performed checks at different intervals.

It was noted early on that the foetus showed abnormal signs of growth and the patient was to have more regular scans. During a scan toward the end of the pregnancy, there were significant abnormalities in growth patterns.

However, the midwives did not follow the result up or recognise the risks associated with the abnormal growth.

When the child was born it was found to have likely suffered a stroke several days earlier.

The Commissioner held that the midwives had breached the patient’s right to have services delivered with reasonable care and skill, and to have services provided that comply with professional, legal, ethical and other standards.

If you are concerned that a healthcare provider has failed to provide services up to this standard, it is advisable to speak with a professional experienced in this area.

Alan Knowsley
Medical Lawyer