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Monitoring of established labour and fetal heart rate when meconium noted (03HDC15086)
Download Monitoring of established labour and fetal heart rate when meconium noted (03HDC15086) (PDF 141Kb)
(03HDC15086, 24 February 2005)
Midwife ~ Prolonged labour ~ Monitoring of labour ~ Fetal
heart rate ~ Baseline measurements ~ Pain relief ~ Transfer of care
~ Communication ~ Postnatal care ~ Standard of care ~ Rights 4(1),
A 30-year-old woman complained about the care provided by her
midwife. The woman was expecting her first child, and wished to
give birth in a maternity clinic rather than at a public hospital.
When her labour became prolonged, she changed her mind and asked
the midwife to transfer her from the clinic to the hospital. It
took two-and-a-half hours for an ambulance to arrive after the
midwife had accepted the woman's request for a transfer, but the
baby was finally delivered at the hospital.
It was held that the midwife's management of the early labour
met the required standards of care. However, she failed to record
the woman's blood pressure, temperature and pulse at the beginning
of established labour, and to adequately monitor the fetal heart
rate after meconium was noted, which was unacceptable. The midwife
failed to provide services with reasonable care and skill and in
compliance with the standards expected of her profession, and
breached Rights 4(1) and 4(2).
It was also held that the midwife breached Rights 4(1) and 6(3)
in not ensuring a timely transfer of the woman to the hospital by
ambulance, and not explaining why the delay had occurred.
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