Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hearing into an independent midwife's practice

The following case study has been published in Nexus, the newsletter of the Nurses Board of Victoria (July 2008 Vol16:1, p7), reporting on the outcome of a formal hearing by the Board. The newsletter Nexus is distributed to all nurses and midwives registered in Victoria. The article has been copied to this blog to inform our readers.

Midwife fails to provide safe and competent post natal care

The parents of baby JK complained to the Board that the nurse who had assisted in JK's birth as an independent midwife failed to provide safe and competent post natal care and assessment for the infant after a home birth in 2005.
The complaint alleged that, despite JK having severe jaundice on day two, the midwife failed to properly assess and advise the parents to seek further medical assessment. It was not until day four that the mother was advised to take JK to hospital for treatment. When JK's total serum bilirubin was eventually assessed it peaked at 782 micromoles per litre, nearly five times the upper limit of the reference range.
JK also had at least one or two major risk factors for developing hyperbilirubinaemia given that she was jaundiced within the first 48 hours of birth.
At the formal hearing, the nurse admitted to the allegations and demonstrated insight into her mistake. The nurse also indicated she would not be taking part in home births in the future.
Whilst the nurse had acknowledged the mistake, the panel heard she had not undergone annual credentialing to consolidate her neonatal skills and knowledge. The panel found the nurse had engaged in unprofessional conduct of a serious nature.
The panel reprimanded the midwife and imposed conditions and further education as part of her registration.
[Please note the NBV's website is]

1 comment:

Lisa Barrett said...

Hi, At the moment although there is a homebirth guideline on the PPG's for South Australia there isn't a public hospital that has chosen to take up the option. Unless you qualify for the Northern Women's community programme there is no way of obtaining a homebirth in the public system. We are hoping this situation will be rectified sometime soon. The Women's and children's hospital have a working party towards this but at the moment neither Flinders medical centre or Lyell McEwin Hospital are even considering this option