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Mum sues over fetus discovery shock

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Mum sues over fetus discovery shock

Old 02-10-08, 02:48 PM
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Mum sues over fetus discovery shock

http://www.news.com.au/story//0,2359...4016-2,00.html


Mum sues over fetus discovery shock

By Norrie Ross and Grant McArthur

February 09, 2008 01:00am
Article from: Herald Sun

A WOMAN was devastated to find her miscarried fetus had been mistakenly packed into a bag with her belongings by hospital staff.

The woman is still trying to cope with the shock of losing her child as well as the trauma of finding the body in her bag in her Ballarat Base Hospital room in December.

The incident is one of a string of lawsuits against the hospital in the past two months. But Ballarat Health Services say there is no cause for alarm.

The woman, who has other children, was 18 weeks pregnant when she went to the hospital with bad bleeding. Despite the efforts of staff she lost the baby.

The woman was admitted to hospital and was recovering from the miscarriage.

Hours after she lost her baby she went to her personal items bag, which is given to patients by the hospital for them to store clothes and other items.

As she put her hands into the bag she came upon a package labelled with her name and wrapped in a towel.

The woman unwrapped the package and found the fetus.

It is believed the woman was alone at the time and called out in shock. Nurses rushed to comfort her.

Ballarat Health spokesman Luke Mullane said a full investigation had been conducted into the event and the hospital would consider any recommendations to improve patient care, safety and support.

"We are extremely saddened and deeply regret what occurred and feel greatly for the family," he said.

"Ballarat Health Services offered all necessary support services to assist the family in coming to terms with the loss at the time and is continuing to do so.

"Since this event there have been a number of changes made in our procedures to ensure that families have the opportunity to consider their care options."

The woman was discharged after two days in hospital.

Slater and Gordon are representing the woman but would not comment.

She is not the only patient of Ballarat Health Services to call on Slater and Gordon.

In December the firm filed three writs against the service alleging medical negligence.

One writ concerns a mother who died from excessive bleeding at Ballarat Base Hospital after the birth of her son in December 2004.

In that case it is alleged the hospital failed to appropriately diagnose, monitor, treat and adequately manage the woman's condition.

The claim is for damages and is made on behalf of her estate and dependants.

In another case, a 34-year-old man suffered an injury to his penis when an operating bed collapsed while he was having a procedure.

In his statement of claim the man said he also sustained a back injury, prostate injury and nervous shock because the bed was unsafe.

He has claimed damages for injury, loss and damage.

In a third case an 11-year-old girl, through her litigation guardian, has sued for damages alleging she suffered a brain injury and has developmental problems and hearing impairment because of negligence at her birth.

She alleges that after her birth by caesarean staff failed to adequately diagnose and treat post-natal complications.

Mr Mullane said the hospital could not comment on the incidents, some dating back to 1996, because they were subject to medico-legal processes.

But he said the health service was fully accredited with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards and rejected any claims it was unsafe.

Health Minister Daniel Andrews said the Ballarat public could have confidence in the Ballarat hospital.

"I've asked for a report on these incidents. Let me assure local residents that Ballarat Health is a quality health service," he said.

"This is due to the professionalism and dedication of staff and the record funding provided by the Brumby Government."
Old 02-10-08, 02:51 PM
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I, um, er..yikes...I got nuthin...

Hope she sues and wins for every last dime they have.
Old 02-10-08, 03:26 PM
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Wrapped in a towel with her name on it? That doesn't really sound like a mistake.
Old 02-10-08, 03:32 PM
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Regarding the instance cited first in the report, I think an apology and maybe a short course of pychotherapy should suffice.

Agreed, in the light of the various problems it is having, the place may well a management shake-up and a few sackings for incompetence but I am usually worried where people seek money in such circumstances because, if the Australian Health Service runs anything like the UK one, taking money from the system ultimately is to the detrement of other patients.

I tend towards the view that monetary compensation nearly always should be reserved for more extreme cases i.e. where physical harm occurs. In some of the other cases cited, yes, financial restitution is required.
Old 02-10-08, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dieinafire
In another case, a 34-year-old man suffered an injury to his penis when an operating bed collapsed while he was having a procedure.
lol
Old 02-10-08, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockmjd23
lol
Old 02-10-08, 05:04 PM
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This doesnt sound like an accident. I mean someone had to wrap the fetus and place it with her personal belongings. Who knows maybe she said "Yeah, I'll take it to go, just wrap it up"
Old 02-10-08, 05:37 PM
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I am sure that violates several tissue disposal laws.
Old 02-10-08, 06:44 PM
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First off, how could the person not tell that the fetus was dead? Second, assuming they ,missed the dead part, why would you leave the baby with her belongings? This sounds like someone who has a really fucked up sense of humor.
Old 02-10-08, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CKMorpheus
Wrapped in a towel with her name on it? That doesn't really sound like a mistake.
It could easily be a mistake: One person wraps the fetus in a towel and puts the woman's name on it. Another person picks up the towel not knowing there is anything inside it and thinks the towel was brought to the hospital by the patient and puts it in the bag with her other personal belongings.
Old 02-10-08, 06:53 PM
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Doesn't challenge Texas' claim to the world's shittiest hospital.
Old 02-11-08, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
It could easily be a mistake: One person wraps the fetus in a towel and puts the woman's name on it. Another person picks up the towel not knowing there is anything inside it and thinks the towel was brought to the hospital by the patient and puts it in the bag with her other personal belongings.
Either way, girlfriend's gonna get paid.
Old 02-11-08, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dieinafire
Either way, girlfriend's gonna get paid.
I think you'd probably be surprised at how little this ends up being settled for. The hospital is run by the government, which limits it's liability. Australian law has much more in common with that of the UK than the US. Under UK law there are strict limits on punitive damages and no provisions for pain and suffering or mental anguish. Personal injury settlements and judgments in the rest of the English-speaking world tend to be much smaller than in the US for the exact same injury.
Old 02-11-08, 11:51 AM
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pwned!
Old 02-11-08, 11:37 PM
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In US if you miscarry this late in the pregnancy you're given an option of taking the fetus home and giving it an actual funeral.
Old 02-11-08, 11:43 PM
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Ewwww. Thank God I don't have a vagina!

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